Heart Disease Home > Heart Attack During a Heart Catheterization

Heart attacks are an uncommon but serious complication of cardiac catheterization. The risk of a heart attack is influenced by your overall 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, 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 will minimize the situations where your heart is stressed excessively, thereby reducing the likelihood of a heart attack during a heart catheterization.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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