News reports that Thomas Markle, father of Meghan Markle, underwent a heart procedure today to receive three stents to open blockages/damage caused by a heart attack last week, are prompting questions about heart attack and stent procedures. Below are...

News reports that Thomas Markle, father of Meghan Markle, underwent a heart procedure today to receive three stents to open blockages/damage caused by a heart attack last week, are prompting questions about heart attack and stent procedures.

Below are answers to those questions as well as additional resources that may be helpful to you.  For an expert interview, please call (214) 706-1173 and someone will assist you as quickly as possible. 

Information and Resources: 

Heart Attack Types & Diagnosis: 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.  

The blockage might be complete or partial.

  • A complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a ‘STEMI’ heart attack — which stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
  • A partial blockage would be an ‘NSTEMI’ heart attack — a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

Diagnostic steps differ for a STEMI versus NSTEMI heart attack, although there can be some overlap.  

  • At a hospital that uses a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), you would likely be sent 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.

Full article on treatment of heart attack: 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/TreatmentofaHeartAttack/Treatment-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002042_Article.jsp


Stent procedure if needed to open one or more blockages: 

  • A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty (View an animation of a stent). The stent stays in the artery permanently.  Coronary narrowings can form again within stents and are referred to as “restenosis.”

Reason for the Procedure

  • Holds the artery open.
  • Improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Relieves chest pain (angina).

View an animation of a stent procedure.

Medications That Your Doctor May Prescribe Post-Procedure
Learn more about cardiac medications, including dual antiplatelet therapy, that you may need to take after your procedure to prevent complications and to put you on the path for the best recovery.

Full article on Cardiac Procedures/Surgeries: 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/PreventionTreatmentofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Procedures-and-Surgeries_UCM_303939_Article.jsp 


Additional Resources:


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