If you’ve had a heart attack that reduced how well your heart pumps, you are probably worried about your health. But many people who have had a heart attack that reduced how well their heart pumps recover and are able to enjoy life as they did before.
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This section tells you what a heart attack is and what puts you at risk. It also tells you how to take steps to improve your heart health.
How a Heart Attack Happens
A heart attack is caused when blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, due to a clot.
- Clots may form when plaque, a fatty build-up on the artery walls, breaks free.
- When the clot blocks blood flow to the heart, the muscle in the heart begins to die. The longer the artery is blocked, the more harm is done to the heart.
Tests and Diagnostics
After your heart attack, you may have been given medical tests you didn’t understand. Your doctors ran these to determine the condition of your heart. You may have undergone the following tests:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- A blood test
- Cardiac catheterization
- Coronary angiography
- A nuclear heart scan
Ask your doctor for more information about what each test is looking for and what they can tell you about your heart health.
Talking With Your Doctor
Below are some tips for a successful visit to your doctor after your heart attack that reduced how well your heart pumps:
- Take notes during your visit or bring a friend/family member, as experiencing a heart attack that reduced how well your heart pumps and preventing another one can be confusing.
- Ask questions about the different tests your doctor may order, including: electrocardiogram or echocardiogram.
- Make sure that your doctor informs you about the damage done by your heart attack that reduced how well your heart pumps and what that means for your future health.
- Ask your doctor to be available if you want more information about heart attacks that reduce how well your heart pumps and how to help prevent a second one.
- Discuss with your doctor the treatments involved with heart attacks that reduce how well your heart pumps, like medication, surgery and others.
- Bring a list of all the pills you are taking, including medications you buy over the counter, vitamins, and natural health products.
- Have a list of the medical problems you’ve had in the past and now.
- Make sure you understand the goals and changes to your lifestyle that your doctor lays out for you.
- Make an appointment to see the professionals your doctor recommends.