February 11, 2008

Removing Blood Clots Helps Heart Attack Recovery

A new research shows that more people survive major heart attacks and have fewer problems if doctors use a mini-vacuum to clear out an artery blockage instead of pushing it aside to help blood flow. Suctioning out a clot before implanting a stent could lead to wider use in heart attack treatment.

Most heart attacks occur when a buildup of plaque in a coronary artery ruptures and a blood clot forms that blocks the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The most preferred treatment is an angioplasty to reopen the artery.

Doctors would use a procedure that would snake a tube through a blood vessel to the blocked artery and use a small balloon to compress the blockage and restore blood flow. A small metal-mesh stent is placed to keep the artery open. A bad thing about the procedure is that sometimes pieces of the clot or plaque breaks off and plugs the tinier vessels to restrict the blood flow to the heart.

No comments: