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Heart Attack

Cardiology Specialists of Orange County

Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases & Interventional Cardiology located in Santa Ana, CA; Newport Beach, CA; & Irvine, CA

Heart attacks can be fatal, but with prompt treatment and expert follow-up, you could lead a long and active life after a heart attack. At locations in Santa Ana, Irvine, and Newport Beach, California, Cardiology Specialists of Orange County's experienced cardiologists provide comprehensive support and the latest treatments for patients who've had a heart attack. Get the most effective therapies and enjoy exceptional care standards after your heart attack by contacting the office closest to you. Call or book an appointment online today.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when there's not enough blood flowing through your heart. Your coronary arteries deliver blood rich with oxygen to your heart muscle to enable your heart to pump efficiently. If the oxygen supply is too low, the muscle begins to die.

The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary artery disease (CAD). Excessive levels of cholesterol in your blood is the primary risk factor for developing CAD. Other factors that increase your risk of having coronary artery disease include:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle

You can reduce your risk of developing CAD and, therefore, the chances of having a heart attack by addressing any of these factors that apply to you. For example, if you get too little exercise, start increasing your activity levels.

What does it feel like to have a heart attack?

Severe chest pain is a major symptom of heart attacks, or you may feel like there's a great weight on your chest, crushing or squeezing you, and the pain often spreads into your neck, back, and arms.

In addition to chest pain, a heart attack can cause:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Numb hands

Heart attack symptoms are often different in men and women, so you might not feel the crushing sensation in your upper chest but lower down if you’re female. 

Untreated heart attacks can be fatal; you should always take any potential heart attack symptoms seriously and seek immediate medical attention.

What treatment would I need after a heart attack?

There are three primary treatment approaches following a heart attack:


After having a heart attack, you'll likely need medication. That might include drugs to dissolve clots in your blood, others to widen your arteries, and ones that help your heart to beat with an even rhythm.

Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization revascularization techniques include angioplasty and atherectomy, which help widen your arteries and improve blood flow but don't involve surgery. Instead, your provider at Cardiology Specialists of Orange County passes a slender tube called a catheter into an artery and feeds it up to your heart to perform the artery widening procedure.


If medications or revascularization treatments aren't enough to resolve the problem responsible for your heart attack, you might need surgery. Procedures such as a pacemaker fitting can regulate your heartbeat, or you might need to undergo heart bypass surgery to replace the diseased artery.

If you're worried about your heart, call one of the Cardiology Specialists of Orange County offices or book an appointment online today.