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Heart Attack During Atherectomy

Heart attacks, while uncommon, are one of the more serious complications of angioplasty. The risk of a heart attack is largely influenced by your health.
During stressful events like atherectomy, your heart requires more blood and oxygen to function properly. If an artery or vessel in the heart 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, which is a condition called ischemia. However, if this section of heart muscle goes too long without enough oxygen, permanent damage can occur and this area of the heart muscle can die. This is what occurs during a heart attack.
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist minimize the situations where your heart is stressed excessively, thereby reducing the likelihood of a heart attack during atherectomy.
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