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Surgical and Other Invasive Procedures for Heart Attack
Surgery to Improve Blood Flow (Relieve Heart Attack)
- Balloon angioplasty—The catheter is placed in the near-blocked artery and a small balloon is quickly inflated and deflated. The quick pressure from the balloon can press the plaque on the walls of the artery to open the artery and restore blood flow. Once the blood flow has been adequately restored, the balloon and catheter are removed.
- Stent —During an angioplasty, a mesh stent may be placed in the artery to keep it open. The stent may be coated with a medication to reduce the chances of the artery renarrowing.
- Laser angioplasty—The plaque is vaporized by a laser beam at the end of the guided catheter, which opens the artery.
- Atherectomy—Once the blockage is reached, a shaver on the tip of the guided catheter is used to slice the plaque away.
Surgery to Treat Damage from a Heart Attack
- Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABP)—A small balloon is threaded into the aorta, the main artery that exits the heart and delivers blood to the entire body. It expands and contracts with your heart rhythm, increasing blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMR)—Generally used in people who have severe angina (recurrent and prolonged chest pain). A laser is used through small incisions on the left side of the chest to create small channels in the affected part of the heart.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)—A device that can be implanted in your chest. People having a heart attack are more prone to certain heart arrhythmias. ICDs are implanted in people to prevent such arrhythmias from occurring.
- Coronary artery radiation—Radiation is sometimes used to reopen coronary arteries that have narrowed after stent placement.
Acute coronary syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 31, 2014. Accessed April 10, 2014.
Cardiac procedures and surgeries. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/PreventionTreatmentofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Procedures-and-Surgeries%5FUCM%5F303939%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 22, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2014.
Intra-aortic balloon pump. Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: http://texasheart.org/Research/Devices/iabp.cfm. Accessed April 10, 2014.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 31, 2014. Accessed April 10, 2014.
Shekar PS. Cardiology patient page. On-pump and off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting. Circulation. 2006;113(4):e51-e52.
What is coronary artery bypass grafting? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cabg. Updated February 23, 2012. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/41/2014