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What kind of treatment options do you have after a heart attack?

A:

Quick Answer

After a heart attack, you may be advised to take one or more medications and you may be directed to undergo surgery, says the Mayo Clinic. Possible medications include aspirin, beta blockers, thrombolytics and ACE inhibitors. Surgical procedures include coronary artery bypass surgery and coronary angioplasty and stenting.

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Full Answer

Medications used after a heart attack are mainly focused on decreasing blood pressure, ensuring good blood flow and reducing damage to the heart, the Mayo Clinic explains. Increasing blood flow through tighter arteries is crucial, and aspirin helps this by minimizing blood clotting. To reduce the likelihood of further heart attacks and minimize the heart muscle damage, beta blockers may be prescribed; they lower blood pressure and relax the heart muscle. Eliminating blood clots soon after a heart attack is key to making sure the extent of heart damage is minimal; thrombolytics are used for this, as they dissolve clots. To reduce blood pressure, ACE inhibitors may be prescribed.

Coronary angioplasty and stenting is a way to eliminate any obstacles to good blood flow, and coronary artery bypass surgery is used to divert blood flow past a blocked artery, the Mayo Clinic states. Coronary angioplasty and stenting is usually performed immediately after a procedure to locate blockages in blood flow. Coronary artery bypass surgery may be performed after the heart has recovered, typically after three to seven days, or immediately during an attack.

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