Coronary Artery Disease Treatment

Overview

Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the heart. Hardened, built-up plaque can break apart and lead to blood clots, and those blood clots can also slow or block blood flow. Coronary artery disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and/or an irregular heartbeat, and can eventually lead to a heart attack.

Symptoms of coronary artery disease should be assessed by a doctor right away. He or she will discuss treatment options that may reverse the disease, prevent further plaque build-up, or lower the patient’s risk of developing heart problems. Whether the disease has just begun, or is at a more advanced stage, key lifestyle changes may improve symptoms and long-term outlook—such as eating a heart-healthy diet, reducing stress, losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking.

Treatment for coronary artery disease may also require surgical intervention, such as with angioplasty, stent replacement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.

Sometimes coronary artery disease is caused by an irregularity in the coronary artery, such as how it’s shaped or how it branches. This is known as anomalous coronary artery, and if not treated it can cause serious heart problems and even sudden death. Treatment is referred to as anomalous coronary artery intervention and usually involves angioplasty and stent placement to open up the blocked part of the artery.
 

Tests, Treatments and Therapies