Heart Attack

Heart & Vascular Institute -  - Interventional Cardiovascular Specialist

Heart & Vascular Institute

Interventional Cardiovascular Specialists serving Michigan

About 1 in 4 deaths that occur in the United States each year stem from a heart attack. If you have a history of heart disease or recently suffered from a heart attack, contact Heart & Vascular Institute in Wayne, Dearborn, Detroit, or Southfield, Michigan, as soon as possible. You can book your heart attack evaluation through the website, or you can call the office nearest you to speak with a team member.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to your heart is blocked. Since your heart can’t get the oxygen-rich blood it needs to thrive, the affected section of your heart starts to die if blood flow isn’t restored quickly. 

In most cases, heart attacks stem from a history of coronary artery disease (also known as ischemic heart disease). This chronic condition means that you have an excessive buildup of plaque in your coronary arteries. 

Plaque buildup hardens your arteries and makes them more narrow. But as plaque continues to build up over the years, it can rupture inside the artery, which causes a clot. This clot can partially or fully block your coronary artery, which leads to a heart attack. 

Occasionally, heart attacks happen because of coronary artery tightening or spasming. This minimizes blood flow even if you don’t have atherosclerosis. 

Am I at risk of a heart attack?

The cardiologists at Heart & Vascular Institute identify several risk factors for heart attacks. While a heart attack can affect anyone of any age, your risk is higher if you:

  • Are a postmenopausal woman or a woman over age 55
  • Have a family history of heart disease
  • Developed preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Are a man over the age of 45

However, there are also risk factors that you can control to lower your chances of suffering from a heart attack. If you have any of the following conditions, your cardiologist at Heart & Vascular Institute can help you get started on a treatment plan:

  • Obesity 
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood sugar from diabetes

Heart attacks are more prevalent among smokers. If you smoke, now is the time to quit to preserve your heart health. 

How does a doctor treat a heart attack?

If you’re experiencing chest pain or tightness, or think you may be having a heart attack, seek emergency medical attention right away. Your cardiologist from Heart & Vascular Institute can meet with you at the hospital or treat you after your hospital visit. 

One of the first lines of defense for treating a heart attack is getting clot-dissolving drugs (thrombolytic medicines). You need this type of medication within several hours of the onset of your heart attack symptoms.

To further improve blood flow to your heart, your cardiologist may perform a percutaneous coronary intervention procedure. This procedure involves inserting a catheter with a balloon at the end into a blood vessel in your upper thigh. 

Your cardiologist threads the catheter up into your artery and expands the balloon to compress plaque buildup and release the clot. This procedure quickly restores blood flow to your heart. 

Your cardiologist may also recommend coronary artery bypass grafting surgery to replace the clogged and damaged artery with a healthier vein from another area of your body.

If you suffered a heart attack, contact Heart & Vascular Institute to get started on comprehensive care today. Schedule your appointment online or by phone with any office.