We have commonly seen people suffering from heart attacks but have we ever wondered about the types of heart attacks along with their treatment options. A heart attack is seen in a patient when there is a blockage within one or multiple coronary arteries which results in reduced blood flow or complete blockage of blood flow towards the heart leaving the heart muscles without an oxygen supply. The blockage in the arteries might be partial or complete.
The types of a heart attack include the following:
STEMI/ ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction heart attack which is very severe and needs immediate attention. The STEMI heart attacks occur after the complete blockage of coronary arteries, which prevents the blood from reaching the massive portion of the heart. This ultimately results in progressive heart damage that ultimately stops the heart from functioning. It is a classical heart attack with typical signs such as chest pain, tightness or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, and others.
NSTEMI/ non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction heart attack is the one where the coronary arteries are partially blocked with the restricted blood flow to the heart. These heart attacks are less dangerous in comparison to the STEMI heart attacks as they result in permanent damage to the heart. It doesn’t show any changes in the ST segment over the ECG.
Coronary artery spasms are also known as unstable angina or silent heart attacks. These heart attacks occur when the arteries leading to the heart contract, restrict or prevent the blood flow to the heart. The symptoms are similar to STEMI heart attack but it can be mistaken as indigestion, muscle pain or others. Only blood tests and imaging tests can tell the doctor if you have suffered from a silent heart attack.
Consider watching this video to know more about how to prevent heart attack….
The hospitals usually offer a complex treatment plan for relieving heart attack. It usually involves clot-dissolving drugs that help in thrombolysis, surgical therapy, PCI/ balloon angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft or a cocktail of treatment options. A patient suffering from a heart attack might undergo angiography which is a type of imaging technique that visualizes the inner view of veins, arteries along with the heart chambers. After which an invasive procedure is performed i.e. revascularization for restoring the blood circulation to the heart. The ischemia-guided strategy is performed where multiple drugs are used for inhibiting the clot formation which includes anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents. The most common heart attack treatments include angioplasty where the special tube with a deflated balloon is attached to the coronary arteries, laser angioplasty where the catheter comprises of a laser tip which aids in opening the blocked arteries, atherectomy where the catheter comprises of rotating shaver which aids in cutting away the plaque from the artery, bypass surgery where the blocked arteries are treated with the creation of new passages, heart transplant where the diseased heart portion is removed, stent procedure where the wire mesh is used for opening the blocked artery, radiofrequency ablation where the catheter having an electrode is applied over the veins where it selectively removes the diseased heart portion.
Other than these surgical options, medications are also given which includes anticoagulants which helps in treating blood vessels, antiplatelet drugs which prevents the formation of blood clots, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor which results in expansion of blood vessels and reduces the resistance of decreasing the levels of angiotensin II, beta-blockers which reduces the cardiac output and heart rate, calcium channel blockers which interrupts the movement of calcium ions within the heart cells, diuretics which allows the body to get rid of sodium and different fluids, vasodilators which helps in relaxing the blood vessels and enhances the blood supply to the heart along with various other medications. The doctors advise to follow the appropriate treatment options and modify the lifestyle to healthier one, while following exercises, eating a healthy diet and maintenance of weight.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!