If you've had a heart attack, you may have already had certain procedures to help you survive your heart attack and diagnose your condition. For example, many heart attack patients have undergone thrombolysis, a procedure that involves injecting a clot-dissolving agent to restore blood flow in a coronary artery (View an illustration of coronary arteries). This procedure is administered within a few (usually three) hours of a heart attack. If this treatment isn't done immediately after a heart attack, many patients will need to undergo coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) later to improve blood supply to the heart muscle.
See Diagnostic Tests and Procedures At-A-Glance to better understand the tests you may have to undergo to find out if you had a heart attack, how much damage was done and what degree of coronary artery disease (CAD) you have.
Clinical trials are scientific studies that determine if a possible new medical advance can help people and whether it has harmful side effects. Find answers to common questions about clinical trials in our Guide to Understanding Clinical Trials.
This content was last reviewed July 2015.