Coronary artery disease occurs when the main blood vessels that supply the heart are damaged or become blocked. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) and inflammation in the coronary arteries typically cause coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries provide blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart. The buildup of plaque narrows these arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease can start with trauma or injury to the inner wall of the coronary arteries, sometimes as early as childhood. Fortunately, Dr. Weinstein and the South Florida Heart Association can use a combination of drugs, lifestyle changes, and professional care to effectively treat or even cure coronary artery disease before it causes a heart attack.
When the heart’s blood flow is blocked, a heart attack occurs. A blockage is usually a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries). Sometimes plaque breaks and forms a clot that blocks blood flow. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is often fatal.
If you suspect you are having or have had a heart attack, it is essential to call 911 or emergency medical services. Not all people who have had a heart attack have the same symptoms or severity. Some people experience mild pain; others have more pain. Some people have no symptoms. For others, sudden cardiac arrest may be the first sign or symptom of illness.
If a clot is large, it can block the blood flow of the coronary arteries, depriving the heart of oxygen and nutrients (ischemia). As a result, your coronary arteries may be wholly or partially blocked.
Complications of a heart attack can last a long time and require treatment. Although a heart attack is best treated in the emergency department, at the Cardiology Associates of South Florida, we are experts in treating complications after a heart attack and restoring your life to a healthy and functional state.