Heart Attack

Kintur A. Sanghvi, MD, FACC, FSCAI -  - Board Certified Cardiologist

NJ Heart & Vascular Care

Kintur A. Sanghvi, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Board Certified Cardiologist & Cardiovascular Physician located in Princeton, NJ & Hamilton Square, NJ

As a leading cardiologist in Princeton and Hamilton, New Jersey, Kintur Sanghvi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, offers the broadest array of treatment options for people who have suffered from a heart attack, as well as preventive care to reduce the risk of heart attacks. At NJ Heart & Vascular Care, each patient is carefully evaluated so care can be customized for each patient's medical needs. Call or book an appointment online today.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is suddenly interrupted, resulting in a reduction in the amount of oxygen the heart muscle receives. 

When the heart senses an unusually low level of oxygen, the muscle cells send out pain signals and trigger other symptoms like sweating and lightheadedness, as well as releasing special proteins into the bloodstream. 

The most common cause of heart attacks is an arterial blockage, usually occurring when sticky, fatty substances called plaque build up inside the arteries. Plaque clings to the artery walls and narrows the diameter of the vessels, restricting blood flow. 

Less commonly, blood flow can be interrupted when the vessels “spasm” and constrict, a condition called Prinzmetal angina.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Heart attacks can cause many different symptoms, including:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Feelings of pressure or heaviness in the chest or abdomen
  • Perspiration
  • Clammy skin
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Pain radiating into the arms, neck, back, shoulders, or jaw
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and women and men can experience different types of symptoms.

What are the risk factors for a heart attack?

Several risk factors are associated with an increased risk of heart attack, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Older age
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Eating a diet high in “bad” cholesterol
  • Being physically inactive
  • Family history of heart attack or cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic or acute stress

If you have risk factors for heart attack, it’s important to be evaluated by an expert like Dr. Sanghvi. 

What can I do to prevent a heart attack?

Having your heart health evaluated to determine your risk factors is the first step in preventing heart attacks. Routine blood pressure screenings and blood tests for cholesterol levels are also important for preventing heart attacks and heart disease in general. 

If your blood pressure or cholesterol levels are elevated, medicine can be prescribed to help treat these issues. 

Other steps include losing excess weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet that's high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, reducing stress, and being more physically active.

What emergency care is available for a heart attack?

If you feel the symptoms of a heart attack, it’s important to seek care immediately. Dr. Sanghvi can help by opening up the blocked artery causing your heart attack. 

He uses a novel wrist approach that is proven to save lives. A catheter, or small tube, is threaded through the artery in your arm to reach the blockage and free blood flow. This technique is used worldwide to prevent and treat heart attacks. 

If you cannot reach NJ Heart & Vascular Care in the case of a suspected heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Heart attacks are serious, life-threatening events. Contact NJ Heart & Vascular Care to have your heart’s health evaluated. Call or book an appointment online today.