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Chest Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Chest ache is a sudden sharp, piercing pain which often heralds the signs of a serious heart-related issue. Chest pain could vary depending on the intensity, duration, location and quality. Aside from heart attack which occurs due to blocked blood flow, chest pain could also be a cause of various other heart related disorders. These are- angina, which occurs as a result of blocked blood vessels; pericarditis, swelling of the pericardium sac membrane encircling the heart; myocarditis, swelling of the myocardium heart muscle; cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart that causes it to become enlarged; aortic dissection, tearing of the aorta. Chest pain can also be caused as a result of heartburn, esophagus disorders, pneumonia, blood clot, chronic pain and the inflammation of the pancreas.

The treatment for chest pain includes both surgical procedures as well as taking of medications such as nitroglycerine (which is an artery relaxer, that enables the blood to flow more easily through these narrow spaces), aspirin, drugs that help to bust clots (these drugs dissolve the clot that is inhibiting the blood flow to the heart), blood thinners, acid suppressing medications and antidepressants. The surgical procedures include angioplasty, balloon and stent placement treatment. All of these methods open the blocked blood vessels after a narrow tube is inserted into the largest blood vessel in the groin region. Other procedures include bypass surgery (in case of a blocked artery this surgical method creates another route for the blood to flow), dissection repair (in case of aortic dissection, this method repairs the ruptured artery carrying the blood) and lung reinflation (this method inflates the lung by inserting a tube).

How is the treatment done?

On experiencing chest pain it is advised that you call for an ambulance or your health care provider. Explain the symptoms, your medical history and the medications that you may be already taking. At the outset you will be required to undergo physical assessment tests that involve doing an ECG (electrocardiogram), some blood tests, Chest X-ray and CT scans to determine whether your chest pain is due to a heart attack. On the basis of the results of these tests you will be required to undergo certain follow up tests such as echocardiogram, computerized tomography (CT scan), stress tests and coronary catheterization (angiogram). At the hospital your caregiver will administer certain drugs (such as aspirin, heparin) to you to arrest the formation of blood clots. These medications prevent the already formed clots from getting any larger. Due to their working nature these drugs are known as anti-coagulants.

During the post-emergency phase depending on the seriousness of the chest pain your doctor will prescribe the medications to you. If you are diagnosed with angina you might be prescribed nitroglycerine. These are nitrates that relax the arteries by allowing more blood to flow and also help to reduce the chest ache. When taking this drug you need to dissolve one tablet under the tongue or use a spray.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People who suffer from chest ache and are within the age group of 45-65 years are eligible for treatment of chest pain which includes taking medications and other surgical procedures.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Those who are below 45 years and above 65 years should take caution when undergoing treatment for chest pain. Also people who are allergic to certain drugs and especially nitroglycerine should avoid going for this kind of treatment and instead discuss alternatives with your doctor. Also people who are diabetic or those with a weak heart muscle should avoid opting for an angioplasty treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of taking nitroglycerine include headache, rapid heartbeat, feeling of nausea and vomiting, skin rash and dizziness. Serious side effects include a rapid fall in blood pressure levels.

Angioplasty though effective in reducing the chances of a heart attack does involve some risks. For example people may experience continuous narrowing of the arteries. There is the risk of damaging your coronary arteries, to your kidney. There is risk of having a stroke while undergoing treatment. There is risk of bleeding which may require you to take blood transfusion. There is the risk of blood clots as well as irregular heartbeat.

in case of bypass surgery you may experience reactions such as infection and bleeding at the site of the surgery, fever, stroke or even death and adverse reactions to anaesthesia.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are certain post-treatment guidelines for chest pain. If you have undergone an angioplasty treatment for example, you need to take your medications regularly. Ensure to never stop taking your anti-clotting medicines before discussing with your doctor as these are extremely essential to keep the chances of heart attacks or strokes in check. It is necessary that you go for a physical check-up that comprising of an ECG and some laboratory tests, a week after completing the treatment. You should avoid any high-impact exercises or lifting any heavy objects for at least a month after the treatment. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet is also of utmost importance. Should you experience any pain in the chest or any side effects to the medications you are taking you should immediately go see your doctor.

How long does it take to recover?

Post an angioplasty treatment it takes about 4 days for the patient to resume normal activities. Avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 4 weeks after the treatment. You can resume your sexual activities at least 4 days after.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

An angioplasty treatment in India for example could cost you about 2-4 lakh on an average. And if you’re a foreigner looking to treat yourself or anyone you know in India, the cost of angioplasty will be at least 50 % more as compared to an Indian treating himself/herself in India.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

If you have undergone an angioplasty treatment then the effects of the treatment could last long enough to prevent the chances of a stroke or heart attack for a considerable period of time. However you may experience the narrowing of arteries once again. In certain cases where people adopt a healthy lifestyle then the results of the treatment may be permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

If you are looking for more natural or herbal options as opposed to medications to treat your chest pain problem then you need to exercise on a more or less regular basis to keep your heart healthy. You should immediately stop the habit of smoking (i.e., if you have it), have a more nutritious diet consisting of fresh onion and garlic, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and fish high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Safety: Low Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Very High Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range: Rs.100000- 300000

Popular Health Tips

Homeopathic Remedies For Chest Pain!

Dr. Anoop Kumar Sonker 93% (96 ratings)
Sexologist, Lucknow
Homeopathic Remedies For Chest Pain!
Chest pain is a common problem that most people experience. Chest pain can signal anything from a muscle cramp to even an impending heart attack. You should never ignore symptoms of chest pain as it can signal a serious underlying disorder. The details about chest pain are not described here as it is beyond the scope of this article. The focus is on various homeopathic remedies to treat symptoms of chest pain. Why homeopathy? Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine that was started in the year 1796, by Samuel Hahnemann. It is based on the premise that the substance that causes a disorder, if introduced in the right quantity in the body, will cure the same disease. Compared to mainstream medicine, homeopathy products are not synthetic and are free from any side effect. Homeopathic remedies for chest pain: The homeopathic remedies that are given below not only treat pain effectively, but also get rid of the actual cause of the pain. The best thing about these remedies is that they are completely free from any side effect, whatsoever. The various homeopathic remedies for chest pain are: Rhus Tox: This remedy is effective in treating pain that spreads to the shoulders from the chest; these symptoms tend to worsen in damp and cold weather. Arnica Mont: If you experience chest pain along with soreness in the body, this remedy is prescribed. Ranunculus B: In case of intercostal rheumatism wherein you experience pain in the muscle between the ribs, this remedy is usually recommended by the practitioner. Kali carb: Kali carb is used to treat stitching pain in the chest that worsens during the early hours of the morning. Rumex C: This remedy is used to treat pain that develops in the left lung, followed by coughing. Bryonia: For a stabbing or a burning chest pain that worsens when you move, Bryonia is considered to be the appropriate remedy. Phosphorus: This remedy is recommended when you experience heavy coughing and chest pain caused by pneumonia or tuberculosis. Carbo-veg: Carbo-veg is used to treat chest pain resulting from acidity, gas and indigestion. Robinia: This remedy is used to treat symptoms of chest pain that originates from behind the sternum (breastbone) as a result of acidity.
3916 people found this helpful

Chest Pain - How Homeopathy Helps Treat it?

Dr. Prashant K Vaidya 90% (507 ratings)
Diploma in Gastroenterology, Diploma in Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Chest Pain - How Homeopathy Helps Treat it?
Chest pain may be caused by multiple problems within the body and while being a problem in itself, may also be a symptom of a bigger underlying problem. Chest pain may be caused by anything from simple chest congestion due to a cold to something far more serious such as the onset of a heart attack. While it is important that life style changes be made to prevent major issues, homeopathy can provide relief for many symptoms till extensive medical steps are taken to correct the problem. Some causes of chest pain Angina Onset of a heart attack Atherosclerosis Weakness of the arteries Weakness of the heart muscle Palpitations Bradycardia Chest congestion or cold Symptoms associated with chest pain Stable angina Vice like constriction or choking, pain may be spread to right or left arm or both, dyspnoea before pain. Unstable angina Chest pain occurs at rest. Pericarditis Pain radiates to the left side of the shoulder which gets worse by lying in a flat position. Pneumothorax Severe chest pain along with shortness of breath, cyanosis, restlessness and collapse. Pneumonia Sharp pain which, gets worse by taking deep breath and coughing. Pulmonary embolism Short rapid breathing, sharp pain in middle of the chest that is worse by deep breathing. Gastroesophagial reflux disease Difficult painful swallowing, pain in the middle of chest which, extends to neck, back and shoulders. Myocardial Vomiting, dyspnoea features of shock, profuse sweating, fever, low blood pressure, pulse small rapid and irregular Homeopathic remedies for various kinds of chest pain Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat chest pain, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this patient s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of chest pain and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of chest pain, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. In medical emergencies like myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism, immediate hospitalization is usually required.
5481 people found this helpful

Chest Pain - Do You Know Why It Happens?

Dr. Santosh Bansal 89% (88 ratings)
MBBS, MTP Training, Ultrasound
General Physician, Gurgaon
Chest Pain - Do You Know Why It Happens?
A sensation of pain in the chest is almost automatically associated with having a heart attack. While it is true that it is one of the best indicators of a heart attack, there are quite a few other things which can cause one s chest to pain and not all need to necessarily be as time critical as a heart attack. So, what are the various things one should be aware of when it comes to pain in the chest? In order to understand chest pain better, it is first very important to understand the various types of chest pain better! So, there is a sharp pain, its opposite which happens to be a dull pain, burning, aching, stabbing pain, as well as a crushing sensation. Let s start with the elephant in the room, which is medically known as myocardial infarction or referred to as the infamous heart attack. This occurs when the muscle cells, which are located in the heart die on account of not enough blood flowing through the heart. In simple terms, the best way to get to know that one is having a heart attack is when the person feels a seriously crushing pain in the centre or the left side of the chest. What could be said to be unique about this type of pain is that resting does not make it better. Another condition of the heart which is often mistaken by the layman for a heart attack happens to be myocarditis. Inflammation of the heart muscle leads to fatigue and a fast beating of the heart. The person would also experience some difficulty breathing. Heart disease can come in multiple forms and one of those is known as CAD or Coronary Artery Disease. When there is a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart, the pain [which is known as angina] is caused by this blockage. The probably solitary source of good news is that permanent damage to the heart is not caused by CAD! That being said, a heart attack is a greater possibility. The pain in the chest could spread to the jaw or the back, or even the arm. The sensation is that of the body part being squeezed. The first thing to be done when angina occurs is to rest in order to lower the pain. While these conditions have focused on the heart, pneumonia affecting the lungs can cause deep chest ache. It causes a cough and chills. There is also likely to be pus from the respiratory tract which is coughed up! Asthma is yet another respiratory issue which could cause chest pain!
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Lung Cancer

Dr. Rk Chopra Pune 87% (60 ratings)
MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Pune
Lung cancer- Chronic smokers, Ex smokers, unprotected exposures in industries, family history of cancer, pollutions are risk factors. Common symptoms are- Can be no symptom, persistent cough, voice change, blood in the sputum, pain chest, breathlessness etc. Best test is CT scan of the chest to see any nodule, mass. Early diagnosis is very important for better survival. Biopsy of nodule/mass can confirm diagnosis in 24 hours. Good treatment options including surgery in early stages are available in good centers. So do not waste time in approaching good chest doctor in a good clinic/hospital for early diagnosis.
1 person found this helpful

Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Dr. Anupam Goel 90% (41 ratings)
MBBS, MD (Gen. Medicine), DM (Cardiology)
Cardiologist, Delhi
Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?
Smoking can affect your health in all respects, and it is no different when it comes to your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have heart problems compared to individuals who do not smoke. How does smoking cast an impact on your cardiac health? Smoking increases the risk of developing various kinds of cardiovascular issues such as stroke and coronary heart disease. It damages the lining of the arteries which, in turn, paves the way for building up of fatty substances called atheroma which narrows down the artery. This may lead to heart attack, stroke, and angina. Tobacco contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This indicates that the heart has to work harder for supplying the required amount of oxygen. Cigarettes also contain nicotine which stimulates the production of adrenaline. This instigates the heart to beat at a faster pace and raises the blood pressure. The chemicals present in the smoke of tobacco can harm your blood cells and retard the normal functioning of the heart. When not inhibited, it can lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an ailment in which a waxy material, termed as plaque builds up in the arteries and limits the flow of blood to different parts of the body. When plaque builds up for a long span of time, it causes coronary heart disease, and you are likely to experience symptoms such as heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, arrhythmia and heart failure and even death. Smoking is a major risk factor for another fatal ailment called the peripheral artery disease or PAD. PAD is a clinical condition where the accumulation of plaque in the arteries inhibits carriage of oxygen-rich blood to the head, different organs, and limbs. With regular smoking, the blood is more susceptible to clotting which surges the risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Is there any effect of second-hand smoking? Second-hand smoking, also referred to as passive smoking means inhaling the smoke ejected while smoking. When a person is regularly exposed to smoke, he or she is likely to have low levels of good cholesterol, damaged heart tissues, and high blood pressure. Various researchers are of the opinion that second-hand smoke of tobacco is a viable cause of heart ailments in nonsmokers. This means, if you are a smoker, you are definite to harm the members of your surroundings. Why should you quit smoking? One of the best ways to decrease the risk of having cardiac ailments is to stop smoking. In case you have never smoked, you should never think of starting it for the same reason. You should also try to avoid second-hand smoke by avoiding going to a smoking zone. It would be a great idea to avoid the company of smokers for the periods when they are smoking. Stay away from smoking for your heart health.
2335 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir I had recently done ct scan for chest pain ct is clear but due to ct contrast I feel heatup of my different body organs sometimes upper side sometimes in abdomen sometimes backside etc etc now please tell me what I have to do.

Dr. Ambadi Kumar 93% (2922 ratings)
MD, Fellowship in Intergrative Medicine, MBBS
Integrated Medicine Specialist, Kochi
Change your diet and lifestyle how to do it I will teach you do not blindly believe your drs .They have misguided you and did tests what they wanted and not what you needed because they have not spent enough time in taking detailed history. Pain in your chest may not be an issue with your heart It can be due to a cause originating else where from the Muscle, Bone,Stomach, Lungs, Mineral deficiencies, Vitamin deficiency etc You are only treating the pain which is a symptom .Temporary fix like band aid You are missing the root cause which may be related to your diet, eating habits ,Lifestyle, stress etc you have not mentioned about your job and its nature any bowel complaints-any belching / flatulence / burping /heart burn your daily diet and eating habits, sleeping habits, exercising habits posture at work and study all need to be detailed The lesson you should learn is not to blindly believe your drs and the hospitals .They may have vested interests also. You should Take personal responsibility for your own health and not your doctor. Always take second and 3rd opinion so that you know you are getting the correct treatment and not getting ripped off. Do the Right tests done, Get the Right advice from the doctor who takes time to educate you before medicating you. I am a Lifestyle, and wellness Consultant from abroad, If Your cardiac test results are all normal but you are still having symptoms that clearly indicates your Dr. has not addressed your diet and lifestyle and has not educated you then you got only a temporary fix only. The triggers for chest pain varies from person to person and so only specific and personalized advice will be effective.

I am suffering from dry cough for the last 2 week and I have chest pain whenever I cough hard. Can you suggest when should be done.

Dr. Lokesh Dua 90% (33 ratings)
Homeopath, Bhiwadi
A dry cough is a common reflex action to clear the breathing passages and airways. A dry cough refers to a cough free from mucus or phlegm which occurs when a person comes in contact with micro-organisms, bacteria, or any other foreign body particles. A dry cough is annoying and troublesome and makes a person restless. It also causes difficulty in breathing and sleeping. Avoid cold foods. Since cough is usually associated with cold, eating or drinking  Avoid Spicy, Oil and Fat food Drink warm water, ginger tea, Gargle with luke warm water adding salt 2-3 Times a day.

I am 60 years old, taking - Angistat 6.5 mg, coversyl 8/10, amlong MT 50 and ecosprin 75. Is this combination of medicine ok. I am taking this combination since last 3-4 yrs. Not feeling any side effects.

Dr. Vivek Baliga B 90% (32 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Hello. I presume you are taking these tablets for heart disease? The combination seems to be quite okay, provided your blood pressure and other parameters are within normal range. If you are concerned, please do visit your doctor for further advice.
1 person found this helpful

Dear sir/madam sometimes I feel slight pain that goes here and there, I mean sometimes on left chest, sometimes on left armpit area, sometimes on back that comes and goes. I have epigastric fullness but this is also not for all the time. One of the doctor mentioned it is due to anxiety disorder but I still have doubt. Sometimes I also feel shortness of breath. I have done Ecg, thyroid and lipid profile test. All are normal. Lastly I forgot to say that I have white coat syndrome. All the above mentioned symptoms goes automatically without taking medicine also and also occurs while taking medicines also. Some of the medicines I have used before are retoz90 mg, gerdrid,zapiz0. 25,neurobion plus etc.

Dr. K V Anand 93% (22474 ratings)
BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user, Nervousness or Anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness. There are a number of anxiety disorders: including generalized anxiety disorder, a specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and panic disorder among others. While each has its own characteristics and symptoms, they all include symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety medicines alone cannot cure anxiety disorders mainly because medicines do not alter behavior. Behavior change and Continuous practice of the changed behavior cure anxiety. I suggest anxiety education, progressive counseling and progressive psychotherapy. I assure you complete cure. I need to know more about your anxiety so that I will be able to diagnose it properly and provide you tips to overcome and manage your anxiety. Take care.
1 person found this helpful

My mother had heart attack last year. She is taking medicine till now. But whenever now she walks then she get pain in chest. Tonight, her pulse rate is increased and she felt dizziness in head and whole body. Is it due to poor condition of heart? Should we go for stent surgery or eccp?

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (9030 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Yes it is because of the weak heart mostly.. But before going for any surgery.. my advise is to take Homoeopathic treatment.. she may not need surgery..

Health Quizzes

Things You Need To Be Aware Of In Case Of Chest Pain!

Multi Speciality
Cardiologist, Delhi
Your lifestyle plays a large role in your risk of chest pain. True or false? Take this quiz to know more
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313 people took this quiz

Chest pain - What could be the causes and how can they be managed?

Dr. R.Pavan Kumar 88% (39 ratings)
General Physician, Nalgonda
The reason behind your chest pain and what you can do to manage it- take this quiz to find your answers here!
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Chest pain - How to manage it?

Dr. Sidharth Verma 91% (36 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Anaesthesiology, DNB Anaesthesiology, PDCC - Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Heavy exercise can lead to a heart condition that causes chest pain. True or False? Take this quiz to know now.
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33 people took this quiz

Chest pain- Top things to keep in mind!

Dr. Jitesh Arora 92% (55 ratings)
MD - Cardiology, PG Diploma In Clinical Cardoology
Cardiologist, Rudrapur
The symptoms of heart attack can have huge variations. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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917 people took this quiz

Chest Pain - Can Bad Lifestyle Lead To It?

Madhavbaug Clinic 88% (28 ratings)
Non-invasive Cardiology
Ayurveda, Thane
Your lifestyle plays a large role in your risk of chest pain. True or false? Take this quiz to know more.
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