Jump to Content
Decorative Montage
Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs

Limiting Heart Muscle Damage

Treatments for a heart attack work to open the blocked artery to restore blood flow as fast as possible to prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle, and to lessen the chance of a repeat attack. The main treatments are thrombolytic ("clot-busting") therapy, other medications, and special procedures, such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery.

To be most effective, these treatments must be given fast–within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms. Acting fast can save your life and limit damage to your heart.

To learn more about treatment:

Thrombolytic therapy.

Other medications.

Special procedures.


Please send us your feedback, comments, and questions
by using the appropriate link on the page, Contact the NHLBI.

Note to users of screen readers and other assistive technologies:
please report your problems here.