Heart Attacks, also known as myocardial infarcts, are usually caused by a blockage in blood supply to the heart muscles when the blood vessels supplying the heart (coronary arteries) are occluded. The most common causes are from atherosclerotic plaques (fatty deposits) built up within the lumen of the blood vessels, or from blood clots that block off the heart's blood supply. Prompt treatment is of the essence to prevent progression to permanent damage to large areas of the heart.
The most common presenting symptom is central chest pain, which can occur both at rest and on exertion. The nature of this pain is more severe, and lasts longer than normal chest pain. The pain can travel up the jaw, to the left or both arms. It is often associated with sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, and/or vomiting. The patient may look pale as well. A smaller Heart Attack can be very similar to an episode of heartburn.
Your doctor will diagnose a Heart Attack based on:
What is it?An ECG or EKG is a non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity of heartbeats. An electrical impulse travels through the heart with each beat. This impulse causes the heart muscle to squeeze and pump blood. An electrocardiographic machine detects these impulses and records them in the form of waves.
Does it hurt?No. There is no pain or risk associated with having an electrocardiogram. When the ECG stickers are removed, there may be some minor discomfort.
What to expect?
What to prepare?
What are the success rates?The success rate of coronary angioplasty is usually about 95%, depending on the nature of your coronary narrowing. However, in about 5% of cases, the procedure may be unsuccessful and the artery remains narrowed. In very few patients (about 1%), urgent bypass surgery may be required if the procedure is complicated.
Major complications like Heart Attacks, abnormal heart rhythm, strokes and death occurs in less than 1% of the patients undergoing PTCA.