Heart Attack Specialist
The care you receive during and after a heart attack is vital for your recovery. At Advanced Heart Care, with offices in Belleville and Fairview Heights, Illinois, the team of board-certified heart specialists offers the most comprehensive diagnostics, treatments, and surgeries to ensure your heart health. In addition to heart attack care, the skilled physicians work with you to reduce your risk factors for a heart attack down the road. Learn more about available heart attack treatments and management services by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.
Heart Attack Q & A
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when an obstruction, like cholesterol or fat, blocks the flow of blood to the heart. These substances harden and form a plaque inside the coronary arteries that deliver blood to your heart. This plaque can gradually break apart, forming a clot that damages parts of your heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack.
Risk factors for a heart attack include:
- Tobacco use
- High blood pressure
You may also be at increased risk for a heart attack if you have a family history of it or if you have an underlying chronic medical condition, like diabetes or an autoimmune disease.
In some cases, a heart attack can be fatal. However, with advancements in cardiac care, proper treatment can restore function to your heart and help you regain a good quality of life.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Symptoms of a heart attack affect people differently. Some may experience mild symptoms that develop gradually, while others will have sudden, severe chest pain that limits their ability to function. Heart attack symptoms can occur without any warning, or you may experience warning signs several days before the attack.
A hallmark symptom of a heart attack is pressure or tightness in your chest, which may radiate down your arms or spread into your neck or jaw.
Other common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Cold sweats
- Sudden dizziness
- Shortness of breath
Because these symptoms are similar to other health issues, it’s important that you get medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening complications. For sudden, severe symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
How is a heart attack diagnosed?
Your symptoms and medical history may help pinpoint a heart attack. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is often the first test to diagnose a heart attack. An ECG uses electrodes placed on your skin to monitor the electrical activity of your heart.
Additional tests, including echocardiograms and chest X-rays, are available at Advanced Heart Care to further evaluate the condition of your heart and determine if your symptoms are related to a heart attack.
What treatments are available for a heart attack?
Fast treatment is vital following a heart attack to prevent further deterioration of your muscles and to increase blood flow to the heart. A variety of medicines, including aspirin and nitroglycerin, maybe the initial treatment to address your condition.
Following a heart attack or for emergency treatment, your Advanced Heart Care provider may recommend additional medication therapy or surgery, such as a stent placement or angioplasty.