What is Myocardial Infarction Treatment? - GO.CARE Blog
What is Myocardial Infarction Treatment?
Author: Hào Nghiêm
Review Date: August 5, 2018 | Last Modified: January 23, 2019
What is Myocardial Infarction Treatment?


1. What is Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

Myocardial Infarction Treatment consists of giving you clot-dissolving drugs (thrombolysis), balloon angioplasty, surgery, or a combination of treatments in case of Myocardial Infarction. Myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, is the irreversible death (necrosis) of heart muscle secondary to prolonged lack of oxygen supply (ischemia).

Generally, a heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more coronary arteries reduces or stops blood flow to the heart, which starves part of the heart muscle of oxygen. However, this blockage might be complete or partial.

Specifically, a complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a ‘STEMI’ heart attack (ST-elevation myocardial infarction). A partial blockage would be an ‘NSTEMI’ heart attack (a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction). In addition, treatments differ for a STEMI versus NSTEMI heart attack, although there can be some overlap.

Currently, about 36% of hospitals in the U.S. are equipped to use a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a mechanical means of treating heart attack.

2. What is the purpose of Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

Primarily, the goal of Myocardial Infarction Treatment is to quickly open the blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart muscle. Once the artery is open, damage to heart muscle ceases, and pain improves.


1. When is Myocardial Infarction Treatment needed?

Myocardial infarction requires immediate treatment. More specifically, your chances of recovering from a heart attack depend on how much damage there is to your heart and how quickly you receive emergency care.

Therefore, the sooner you receive treatment, the more likely you are to survive. Moreover, delay in establishing reperfusion can result in more widespread damage to heart muscle and a greater reduction in the ability of the heart to pump blood.

Typically, patients with hearts that are unable to pump sufficient blood develop heart failure, decreased ability to exercise, and abnormal heart rhythms. Thus, the amount of healthy heart muscle remaining after a heart attack is the most important determinant of the future quality of life and longevity.

2. Who are eligible for Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

There are many options for Myocardial Infarction Treatment. According to The American Heart Association, Myocardial Infarction Treatment includes medication, surgery, procedures and implantable devices. Furthermore, eligibility for each type depends on:

  • The type of heart attack (also called myocardial infarction, or MI) you experienced
  • Your age
  • Your general health

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


Below are the costs of treatment of acute Myocardial Infarction Treatment in Canadian and US hospitals:

The total average in-hospital costs per patient:

  • In Canada: $6181
  • In the United States: $15,631

Indirect costs:

  • In Canada: $1385
  • In the United States: $5830

Direct costs:

  • In Canada: $4796
  • In the United States: $9801

To sum up, direct costs include charges for hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs, while the indirect costs include lost productivity and time away from work.


1. What should I do before Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

Before Myocardial Infarction Treatment, reach out for urgent medical help, call an ambulance if you think you might be having a heart attack. Immediately, the EMS crew in the ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location.

Afterward, at a PCI-using hospital that uses PCI, the medical team will likely send you to the department that specializes in cardiac catheterization (usually called a cath lab) for a diagnostic angiogram to examine blood flow to your heart and test how well the heart is pumping. Depending on the results of that procedure, you may be routed to one of three treatments: medical therapy only; PCI; or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

On the other hand, a hospital that does not use PCI might transfer you to one that does. If not, it may decide to administer drugs known as fibrinolytic agents to restore blood flow. There, you might be given an angiography, possibly followed by an invasive procedure called revascularization to restore blood circulation in your heart.

If the hospital determines you had an NSTEMI heart attack, doctors typically use one of two treatment strategies. One is called an ‘ischemia-guided strategy’, the other an ‘early invasive strategy’. Both may involve a test called cardiac catheterization to examine the inside of your heart.

Furthermore, the ischemia-guided strategy uses various drugs (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) to inhibit blood clot formation.

More specifically, the early invasive strategy will start with the use of various drugs (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants) to inhibit blood clot formation, but might also proceed to medical therapy, a PCI with stenting, or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), followed by certain types of posthospital care.

2. What should I do after Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

After a first heart attack, most people go on to live a long, productive life. However, around 20 percent of patients age 45 and older will have another heart attack within five years of their first.

However, don’t wait for a second; make preventing another heart attack your first priority. For example, here are five things you can do:

  • Take your medications as prescribed. Certain medicines can greatly lower your risk of another cardiac event. That’s why it’s important for you to understand your medicines and take them correctly. Learn about how to manage your medications.
  • Attend your follow-up appointments. Attending your follow-up appointments will help your doctors keep track of your condition and recovery. You can make the most of your time with your doctor by preparing for your appointment.
  • Participate in cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help you recover after a heart attack. You should have received a referral to cardiac rehab when you were discharged from the hospital — if you did not, ask your doctor about it.
  • Get support. It is normal to feel scared, overwhelmed or confused after a heart attack. Getting support from loved ones or from people who have also had a heart attack can help you cope. For example, connect with other heart attack survivors and caregivers through our Support Network.
  • Manage your risk factors. After a heart attack, it is important to manage risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes by taking medications, quitting smoking, eating healthy food, and getting active. Moreover, you should find out more about managing your risk factors.

Coping and support

Surely, having a heart attack is scary, and you might wonder how it will affect your life and whether you’ll have another one.

Fear, anger, guilt, and depression are all common after a heart attack. Discussing them with your doctor, a family member or a friend might help. If not, consider talking to a mental health provider or joining a support group.

Moreover, it is important to mention signs or symptoms of depression to your doctor. Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be effective in preventing or treating depression after a heart attack.

Sex after heart attack

Some people worry about having sex after a heart attack, but most people can safely return to sexual activity after recovery. While you can resume sexual activity, this will depend on your physical comfort, psychological readiness and previous sexual activity. Ask your doctor when it’s safe to have sex.

However, some heart medications can affect sexual function. If you’re having problems with sexual dysfunction, talk to your doctor.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


1. How long does Myocardial Infarction Treatment last?

In general, duration of treatment varies depending on the case-by-case basis and the specific treatment.

For example, with an angioplasty and stent insertion, the procedure varies, but in most cases, it takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.

Generally, coronary bypass surgery generally takes between three and six hours and requires general anesthesia. Moreover, the number of bypasses required depends on the location and severity of blockages in your heart

2. How is the procedure of Myocardial Infarction Treatment?


Commonly, medications given to treat a heart attack might include:

  • Aspirin. The 911 operator might tell you to take aspirin, or emergency medical personnel might give you aspirin immediately. Aspirin reduces blood clotting, thus helping maintain blood flow through a narrowed artery.
  • Thrombolytics. These drugs, also called clot-busters, help dissolve a blood clot that’s blocking blood flow to your heart. The earlier you receive a thrombolytic drug after a heart attack, the greater the chance you’ll survive and have less heart damage.
  • Antiplatelet agents. Emergency room doctors may give you other drugs known as platelet aggregation inhibitors to help prevent new clots and keep existing clots from getting larger.
  • Other blood-thinning medications. You’ll likely be given other medications, such as heparin, to make your blood less “sticky” and less likely to form clots. Heparin is given intravenously or by an injection under your skin.
  • Pain relievers. You might be given a pain reliever, such as morphine.
  • Nitroglycerin. This medication, used to treat chest pain (angina), can help improve blood flow to the heart by widening (dilating) the blood vessels.
  • Beta blockers. These medications help relax your heart muscle, slow your heartbeat and decrease blood pressure, making your heart’s job easier. Beta blockers can limit the amount of heart muscle damage and prevent future heart attacks.
  • ACE inhibitors. These drugs lower blood pressure and reduce stress on the heart.
  • Statins. These drugs help control your blood cholesterol.

Surgical and other procedures

In addition to medications, you might have one of these procedures to treat your heart attack:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting

In this procedure, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), doctors insert a long, thin tube (catheter) that’s passed through an artery in your groin or wrist to a blocked artery in your heart. In case you’ve had a heart attack, this procedure is often done immediately after a cardiac catheterization, a procedure used to find blockages.

This catheter has a special balloon that, once in position, is briefly inflated to open a blocked coronary artery. Moreover, a metal mesh stent might then be inserted into the artery to keep it open long term, restoring blood flow to the heart. Depending on your condition, you might get a stent coated with a slow-releasing medication to help keep your artery open.

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery

In some cases, doctors perform emergency bypass surgery at the time of a heart attack. If possible, you might have bypass surgery after your heart has had time (3 – 7 days) to recover from your heart attack.

More specifically, bypass surgery involves sewing veins or arteries in place beyond a blocked or narrowed coronary artery. As a result, this allows blood flow to the heart to bypass the narrowed section.

Implantable medical devices

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

This is a wired device which is implanted into the heart tissue. It delivers electrical shocks, detects the rhythm of the heart and sometimes “paces” the heart rhythms, if necessary.

Specifically, this device is for patients at risk of recurrent, sustained ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. In addition, it helps to:

  • Restore the heart to a normal rhythm.
  • Prevent sudden cardiac death.

When the heart’s “natural pacemaker” is defective, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly, a pacemaker helps the heart beat in a regular rhythm. This device is small, has wires and are implanted in the heart tissue to send electrical impulses. The device is powered by a battery.

Left Ventricular Assist Device

The left ventricle is the large, muscular chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the body. The LVAD is a battery-operated, mechanical pump-type device that’s surgically implanted. As a result, it helps maintain the pumping ability of a heart that can’t effectively work on its own.

3. What happens after the procedure?

After the surgery, once blood flow to your heart is restored and your condition is stable, you’re likely to remain in the hospital for several days.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Complications & Side Effects

1. What complications could arise from Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

The most common complications are:

  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rupture
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Valve problems

2. What are the possible side effects of Myocardial Infarction Treatment?

Side effects of medication

Antiplatelet drugs can cause diarrhea, rash, or itching, abdominal pain, headache, chest pain, muscle aches, and dizziness. Whereas anticoagulants can cause bleeding and necrosis (gangrene) of the skin.

Moreover, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors include cough, elevated blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, weakness, abnormal taste, and rash.

Vasodilators may cause lightheadedness or dizziness, increased or irregular heart rate, or headache.

Furthermore, calcium channel blockers include constipation, nausea, headache, rash, edema, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Finally, anti-arrhythmics may cause dizziness, blurred vision, anorexia, unusual taste, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Side effects of surgery

Side effects of PCI
  • Bleeding, clotting, or bruising at the point of insertion
  • Scar tissue or blood clots forming in the stent
  • An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia
  • Damage to a blood vessel, heart valve, or artery
  • Another heart attack
  • Kidney damage, especially in people who have preexisting kidney problems
  • An infection
Side effects of coronary bypass surgery
  • Bleeding
  • Heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmias)
  • Infections of the chest wound
  • Memory loss or troubles with thinking clearly, which often improve within six to 12 months
  • Kidney problems
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack, if a blood clot breaks loose soon after surgery
Side effects of implantable medical devices
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to the blood vessel and heart muscle
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Puncture of the lung and collapsed lung
  • Swelling or bruising at the site where the generator was implanted
  • Allergic reaction to the sedative or anesthetic
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Please choose the best hospitals and clinics that provide Myocardial infartion treatment in Asia to get the most suitable healthcare for your condition.

GO.CARE  does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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