Heart blockage is known as coronary artery disease in medical terms. It is mostly caused by the deposition of plaque inside the walls of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This kind of disease takes place gradually over many years. Hence the symptoms do not come to the notice unless there is a significant blockage in the heart. The prime culprit for this is the sedentary lifestyle.
Signs and symptoms
- Shortness of breath – When the blood is not able to pump enough blood to the heart, it leads to tiredness and shortness of breath.
- Chest pain – This is a common symptom manifested as tightness or pressure in the chest. It may be triggered by any mental or physical stress. The pain may also radiate to the neck, back, or arm.
- Heart attack – This happens at the terminal stages when there is a complete blockage of the coronary artery. There is extreme pressure in the chest radiating to the shoulder and the arm.
- Abnormal perspiration
Conditions that may occur as a result of heart blockage:
STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) – This happens whenever there is a sudden blockage in the blood vessels, leading to a heart attack. A major area of heart muscles may be affected, which is seen through the changes in the ECG and in the chemical markers.
N STEMI (non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) – This is not noticed on the ECG or electrocardiogram. However, the chemical markers in the blood may warn you about the damage caused to the heart muscle. The blockage may be complete or partial.
Unstable angina – Angina can be a frequent sign. It can be relieved by taking oral medications instantly. However, unstable angina can lead to a heart attack.
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How is it treated?
Primarily, the following treatments are most commonly used for coronary artery disease.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- Angioplasty with stent placement
However, there is also heart blockage treatment without surgery which is discussed below.
Some of the most commonly done treatments for heart blockage are surgical. However, there are some conditions that can also be treated non-surgically if the blockage is not too severe. Let’s go through some of the most effective ways to deal with the heart blockage:
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
This is a surgery that involves creating a bypassed way around the blocked artery to facilitate the blood flow to the heart. The graft is taken from a blood vessel in another part of the body. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery can be performed in some of the best heart surgery hospitals in India. The techniques used to perform the surgery can be either open-heart surgery, minimally invasive surgery, or off-pump surgery. The open-heart surgery is the traditional form of surgery that is performed in cases where a wide incision needs to be made to gain access to the blocked artery.
However, with the minimally invasive technique, the surgery can be performed with a smaller incision where there is easy access.
Off-pump surgery is quite similar to open-heart surgery in which the chest bone is opened. But, the heart does not stop functioning during the surgery. Unlike the traditional technique, the heart-lung bypass machine is not used. This is also known as beating
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
This is one of the most recent techniques used by the cardiac surgeons in India, after CABG. PTCA not only enables the normal blood flow to the heart but also helps in diagnosing conditions such as a coronary artery, heart valve disease and other congenital conditions. PTCA is a minimally invasive procedure done under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision under the skin and a catheter is inserted into the blocked site. Once it reaches the site, the surgeon inflates and deflates the balloon numerous times, which compresses the plaque and opens up the artery.
If needed a stent may also be placed by a procedure called angioplasty. The stents help the blood vessels to stay intact and enable smooth blood flow. These stents may also be coated with medications sometimes. To know about the best cardiac surgery hospitals in India.