A heart attack implies either having an (1) acute myocardial infarction(MI) or an episode of (2) unstable angina / non ST elevation MI . After the initial management of the acute episode the long term management of these two types of acute heart attacks are largely similar .
Healing of the Heart :
Mother nature has the power of healing all the wounds! After the acute attack the heart muscle gets inflamed and starts to show signs of repair . It takes approximately 6 ( six ) weeks for the healing of the heart muscle . The degree of damage , quickness and mode of opening the clogged blood vessel , presence or absence of dilation (remodeling ) of heart , residual ventricular function ( measured as ejection fraction – EF ( normal 60-76%) presence or absence of heart failure are all the determinants of subsequent course of healing and the quality of life.
Drug Therapy is a must after a Heart Attack:
Two antiplatelet agents ( blood thinners ) are commonly prescribed after the attack . Aspirin plus either clopidogrel/Prasugrel or ticagrelor are given .
These medications prevent subsequent (Second) heart attack . Additional medications are given based on the clinical picture of patient .
Device Therapy needed post a Heart Attack:
If the heart function remains poor as defined by EF less than or equal to 35% after 40 days following the heart attack device therapy would be prescribed . Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators or implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) can detect bad cardiac rhythms like ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) and deliver pacing therapy or shock to revert the rhythm to the normal sinus rhythm . In addition the device can also treat low heart rate .
Non Drug Therapy :Therapeutic life style change (TLC) after Heart Attack:
Follow up with your doctor is necessary :
Regular follow up with the treating physician / cardiology is important . Besides clinical examination some investigations like follow up examination of blood cholesterol , sugar , kidney function , ECG , echo cardiography or stress test may me performed based on the clinical requirement .