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Heart Attack

Cardiology, Cardiac Electrophysiologists, General Cardiology, Cardiology, Cardiologists & Cardiologist to Women's Health & Cardiology located in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Largo and Laurel, MD
Heart Attack

Heart Attack services offered in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Largo and Laurel, MD

A heart attack can cause chest and arm pain, fainting (syncope), and shortness of breath due to tissue damage in your heart. If you want to avoid a heart attack or receive non-emergency care after one, visit Capitol Cardiology Associates. At offices in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Silver Spring, Laurel, and Largo, Maryland, the board-certified cardiologists use advanced methods like balloon angioplasty to address the causes of your heart attack. To see how they can help you, call your nearest Capitol Cardiology Associates office today or request an appointment using the online form.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when a blockage in your arteries prevents blood from flowing through your heart. Heart attack symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain that travels into your left arm
  • Tightness or pressure in your chest
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Syncope (fainting)

If you or someone you’re with develops these symptoms, call 911 for emergency medical help.

Why would I have a heart attack?

The most likely trigger for a heart attack is a blockage in the coronary arteries — the vessels that supply blood to your heart. Blockages are commonly due to coronary artery disease (CAD) caused by atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis develops when plaque (a sticky substance mainly consisting of fatty cholesterol) builds up inside the arteries, making them narrower.

If plaque breaks off or a blood clot forms, it can block blood flow entirely, causing ischemia. This means your heart doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to function properly, resulting in a heart attack.

You’re more likely to experience a heart attack if you have one or more risk factors, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Excess body weight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Family history of heart attacks
  • Chronic stress
  • Stimulant drug use

The likelihood increases with age — men over 45 and women over 55 are more at risk of having a heart attack.

Heart attacks cause tissue death and can lead to heart failure or trigger arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). You could also suffer a fatal cardiac arrest, where your heart stops functioning.

Regular heart health checks at Capitol Cardiology Associates can help keep your heart functioning properly and prevent heart attacks.

What treatment would I need for a heart attack?

Treatment for heart attacks needs to happen as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

The emergency team might give you medications to dissolve any blood clots and make your blood less sticky. Examples include thrombolytics, heparin, and antiplatelet agents.

They might also give you drugs that lower your blood pressure, relax the heart muscle, and improve blood flow.

Some patients might require urgent bypass surgery after a heart attack, but many are treatable using less invasive methods. Procedures the Capitol Cardiology Associates team specializes in include balloon angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy.

To arrange your heart health checkup or discuss heart attack treatment, call Capitol Cardiology Associates today or book an appointment online.