Heart Disease Channel
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Heart Attack During Angioplasty

A heart attack is an uncommon but serious complication of angioplasty. Your risk of having a heart attack during angioplasty is strongly influenced by your health.
During stressful events like surgery, your heart requires more blood and oxygen to function properly. If a certain artery or vessel in the heart itself is narrowed or blocked, it cannot send enough blood and oxygen to meet the demands of the heart muscle. Lack of oxygen can damage the heart muscle. Sometimes this lack of oxygen is only temporary -- this condition is called ischemia. However, if this section of heart muscle goes too long without enough oxygen, permanent damage can occur, and this part of the heart muscle can die. This is what occurs during a heart attack.
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist minimize the number of situations where your heart is stressed excessively, thereby reducing the likelihood of a heart attack.
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