Your chest starts to tighten; you find it hard to breathe. You feel your heart racing fast, and suddenly you are nauseated and start to collapse. You could be having a mild stroke or a heart attack and need to be rushed to the ER.
Heart attack results from coronary artery disease, a condition where your heart arteries are clogged by fatty plaques and therefore restrict the flow of blood to your heart.
Many people who suffer from clogged arteries and heart attack need to be under the care of cardiologists and surgeons who may perform heart surgery procedures to de-clog the arteries and restore normal blood flow to the heart.
If you are at high risk of having blocked artery which could lead to heart attack, it pays to know what could happen to you when doctors decide it is best to perform a heart surgery to alleviate your risks. Remember, a heart surgery does not treat coronary artery disease; it only widens your blocked arteries to help reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions such as heart attack.
Angioplasty is not a major heart surgery but a minimally-invasive heart procedure whereby your doctor inserts a catheter through a blood vessel leading to your heart, and then de-clogs your artery and widens it by inflating a balloon through the artery wall.
You can be awake during an angioplasty and your doctor does not need to cut you up and see your heart. After an angioplasty, you may be required to stay in the hospital for two days and recover at home for one week.
A bypass is a major heart surgery that requires a team of surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and cardiac rehabilitation specialists to watch over you during and after the heart surgery. The surgeon makes a cut through your chest and identifies the clogged arteries in your heart.
He then gets a healthy artery from your chest or your arms and legs and sews this on top of the clogged artery; therefore bypassing the clogged artery and restoring the flow of blood back to your heart.
The bypass heart surgery usually lasts up to 6 hours. After the surgery, you will be moved to the ICU and then to the recovery room. You may be required to stay in the hospital for 4-6 days and continue with cardiac rehabilitation when you get home.
For both angioplasty and bypass heart surgery, you need to watch out for signs of infection, bleeding and chest pain. Alert your cardiologist at once if you notice these to prevent further complications.
Doctors can only prevent further damage to your heart with various treatments such as bypass heart surgery and angioplasty. Ultimately, your heart health will depend on how you take care of your heart. If you are smoking, quit.
If your diet is fatty and salty, watch what you eat. Exercise regularly and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. None of the heart surgery and procedures will be necessary if you take care of your heart.