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Angioplasty top choice when dealing with heart attacks

The Heart Institute at Sharon Regional is Mercer County's only facility to offer life-saving angioplasty

A study of treatments for heart attacks recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms and supports 20 consecutive earlier studies showing the superiority of opening clogged arteries with angioplasty as the initial therapy rather than using clot-dissolving drugs. Even when a drug dissolves blood clots, it can't further widen a clogged artery.

These 21 studies offer "compelling evidence" for angioplasty becoming the standard of care for certain types of heart attacks, the authors of the new study (a team led by Dr. Thomas Aversano of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions) and other experts said.

The Heart Institute at Sharon Regional is the only Mercer County facility to offer the life-saving angioplasty.
For those patients having a major heart attack, centers with an experienced and readily available interventional team, such as The Heart Institute, are considered the best choice for treatment. In angioplasty, cardiologists insert balloon-tipped tubes in a blocked artery. They inflate the balloon to flatten fatty deposits and improve blood flow to the heart. A stent, or small stainless steel mesh tube, may also be placed in the artery to keep it open. Widening the artery allows more normal blood flow.

"Early identification of signs and symptoms and seeking prompt medical attention can save the life of a heart attack victim," says James P. Landis, Jr., M.D., board certified cardiologist and medical director of The Heart Institute. "If the blood supply is cut off severely for a long time, muscle cells suffer irreversible injury and die. Disability or death can result, depending on how much heart muscle is damaged. For some patients the clot-busting drugs can't be given due to age, other medical conditions, or allergies."

About two-thirds of the estimated 1.2 million Americans who have heart attacks each year do not have access to angioplasty.

Instead of taking people who may have had heart attacks to the nearest hospital, the researchers said it may be better to send them to a hospital where a trained team can perform angioplasty to open clogged coronary arteries.

The Heart Institute at Sharon Regional is the only facility in Mercer County that offers advanced heart care right here, close to home. With people, technologies and capabilities like these close to home, there's no reason to add to your stress by leaving the area for advanced heart care.

To learn more about The Heart Institute, please call 724-983-5518 or 800-346-7997.

The Heart Institute is Mercer County only choice for advanced heart care offering:
Open Heart Surgery
Valve Surgery
Off-pump Heart Surgery
Angioplasty (Primary & Rescue)
Stents Rotoblator
Two advanced cardiac cath labs