Heart Infarction?

If one of the coronary artery is being blocked by plaque, will the person immediately suffer an infarction? In case the person does not suffer any infarction, can it be treated without surgery?
Also, how is the surgery performed? What do they exactly do? How much risk is there of it to fail?

5 Responses to “Heart Infarction?”

  1. norton g Says:

    No one answer fits all possibilities. If one coronary artery is slowly being blocked, the person will likely not have an infarction (heart attack) till it is about 70% blocked, but he/she might have occasional chest/heart pains (angina) on exertion. The older the person gets, the chances increase that the several coronary arteries will grow to form connections with each other (anastamoses) which are of benefit and a source of blood to prevent infarction if one artery becomes blocked. The danger of infarction and death is greater in younger people who have not yet formed these connecting coronary arteries.
    If studies of the coronaries (angiograms) show significant blockage, then without surgery, a flexible plastic tubing (catheter) can be inserted through an artery opening in the groin (femoral artery) and threaded back to the heart and into the blocked coronary artery so that the blocking plaque can be cut out (like a roto-rooter) and sucked back out, leaving a wider opening to allow more blood with needed oxygen to get through and prevent an infarction. This procedure and the surgery with coronary artery bypass grafts are highly successful currently – well over 90%.

  2. the_only_solorose Says:

    100% blockage of any artery feeding the heart will result in immediate infarction of the distal tissues, this is due to lack of blood flow. (the tissue dies = infarction) 99.9% of people have angina and considerable discomfort prior to infarction, and treatment can include medication or angioplasty depending on the percentage of flow that is obstructed. Surgery is NOT a primary course of treatment, it's a last ditch effort.

  3. TAYLOR Says:

    No, plague in a CA does not immediately cause a myocardial infarction- it has to progress to usually around 70-90%

    In considering surgery, it depends on the case.
    Yes, to some extent, it would require surgery.

    The options are stent placement in the catherization lab which is MUCH less riskier. The other option would be CABG which is Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (open-heart))

    Stent placement is done by placing a wire into the femoral artery in the groin of the L or R leg and taking it up to the heart, then evaluating the disease of the heart that they have, then attaching a balloon and wire mesh material to the wire and taking it to the heart and expanding it. This, in turn, both expands and keeps the artery open. These do not usually fail right away. But, if the person continued to develop plaque in that artery it will clog again. 2nd stent placement is possible but sometimes CABG is the better option.

    CABG is done by doing a median sternotomy (chest incision), they are then placed on cardiopulmonary bypass, then they usually use a vein from the person's leg and essentially "bypass" the clogged artery and great a new ones.

    CABG is obviously much more riskier in the regard of complications. Death rate depends on the medical center providing the surgery along with the problems the patient already has but is usually no higher than 7%. Some people are not good candidates for anesthesia or surgery in general.

    Have a good one!

  4. Nancy T Says:

    You have asked some good questions that cannot be honestly answered in this blog by a nurse, or anyone shy of a cardiology specialist..you need to sit down with a cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon to obtain accurate and correct answers.
    No offense, but all of the previous answers given on this blog have some serious errors,misinformation, and incorrect data.

  5. cardiophile Says:

    Blockage will produce infarction unless there are good collaterals. Even if infarction has occurred, the block can be removed by angioplasty and still improve the cardiac function. If angioplasty is not available, clot busters can be used to remove the block. Angioplasty is done through blood vessels in the groin or wrist. Only very rarely is a true open surgery needed. Any procedure will have a small failure rate, but the benefits far outweigh the risks.