Heart Attack Specialist

Premier Cardiac and Vascular

Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC

Cardiologist located in Springfield, VA & Fredericksburg, VA

Nearly 800,000 Americans have a heart attack every year, and one-quarter of those may have a second. Anita Banerjee, MD, FACC, at Premier Cardiac and Vascular in Springfield and Fredericksburg, Virginia, specializes in cardiology and can provide the care you need to improve your heart health and prevent a first or recurrent heart attack. For expert cardiology care, call the office today or request an appointment online.

Heart Attack Q & A

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack, also referred to as a myocardial infarction, occurs when there’s a blockage in the arteries in your heart that cuts off blood flow. The blockage occurs when the accumulated plaque along the blood vessel walls becomes unstable and causes a blood clot to form and interrupt the flow of blood.

Plaque develops when excess cholesterol in your blood combines with other substances and sticks to your blood vessel walls.


What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Heart attack symptoms vary both in type and severity. Some people have what’s referred to as a silent heart attack and have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms that may indicate you’re having a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Nausea or abdominal pain
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Lightheadedness

Many patients ignore their chest pain and delay proper treatment, which may increase the risk of complications. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 for immediate help.

Often, an emergency room may determine that you are not having a heart attack but need further cardiology follow-up and diagnostic testing.


How is a heart attack diagnosed?

During an emergency situation, your medical specialist reviews your symptoms and medical history and then performs a blood test, as well as an echocardiogram, to diagnose if you had, or are having, a heart attack.

When you come in for cardiac care at Premier Cardiac and Vascular, Dr. Banerjee may also perform an electrocardiogram to assess heart health and your heart attack risk. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, increase your risk of having a heart attack, which may require additional monitoring and management.

If you’ve had a heart attack, Dr. Banerjee conducts additional testing for coronary artery disease (CAD) to look for blockages in your arteries and also a stress test to assess your heart’s health during physical activity.


What can I do to prevent a heart attack?

Dr. Banerjee takes a preventive approach to care when it comes to heart health. She works closely with you to help you make lifestyle changes to prevent a heart attack or a second heart attack. Her prevention plan includes:

  • Diet modification
  • Regular exercise
  • Risk factor modifications, such as weight loss or improved diabetes management

When necessary, Dr. Banerjee also prescribes medication to lower blood pressure or cholesterol levels if lifestyle modification fails to lessen these risk factors.

A heart attack is a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention and ongoing care. Call Premier Cardiac and Vascular today or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with a cardiac specialist.