Heart Attack

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the blood that flows to your heart muscle is blocked. This disruption of flow can be caused by plaque buildup, a blood clot, or a blockage of any kind in the arteries that deliver blood to your heart muscle (coronary arteries). This disruption of flow can damage a part of your heart muscle. Some symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain, pressure, tightness or squeezing. Can radiate to your arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

To treat your heart attack, your doctor may put you on medications including blood thinners, beta blockers, and medications that will treat high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The medications your doctor may prescribe may reduce the workload on your heart, widen your blood vessels, and reduce blood clotting. Your doctor may also perform an angioplasty – in this procedure, a stent is inserted to the narrowed part of your coronary artery. The stent, which is shaped like a hollow mesh tube, will widen the artery and keep it open, improving blood flow to your heart muscles.