Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. To protect your heart health and reduce your risk for the disease, the experienced cardiologists at Advanced Heart Care in Fairview Heights and Belleville, Illinois, offer comprehensive, on-site heart testing. If you’re already trying to manage coronary artery disease, the skilled physicians work closely with you to customize the right treatments, including medications and surgery. Find out more about treating and preventing coronary artery disease today by calling Advanced Heart Care or booking an appointment online.
CAD Q & A
What is coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a common type of heart disease that develops when your coronary arteries, which supply blood to your heart, become narrow and hard. This artery damage is the result of a buildup of fat and cholesterol that hardens into a plaque and blocks the optimal flow of blood into your heart.
A lack of blood means your heart muscles are getting less oxygen, increasing your risk for conditions like:
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Angina (chest pain)
If left untreated, coronary artery disease can cause permanent heart damage or death.
What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?
Because CAD develops gradually, you may not have any symptoms until your arteries have a significant blockage.
When that occurs, you may experience frequent pains in your chest and shortness of breath that make it difficult to go about your usual routine.
How is coronary artery disease diagnosed?
There are no specific tests to confirm CAD. However, if you have symptoms of the condition or risk factors like high blood pressure or a family history of CAD, your Advanced Heart Care provider may recommend tests such as:
- Chest X-ray
- Blood work
- Stress test
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Cardiac catheterization
Your Advanced Heart Care physician also reviews your medical history, lifestyle, and overall health to determine if you already have CAD or are at risk for the condition.
What treatments are available for coronary artery disease?
Initially, your Advanced Heart Care physician may recommend medications to prevent a worsening of your CAD. These medications may include:
- Calcium channel blockers
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat CAD. The Advanced Heart Care surgeons perform angioplasty, which uses a small balloon to open narrowed coronary arteries.
Bypass surgery may also be necessary to prevent life-threatening complications of CAD. During this surgery, the surgeon takes blood vessels from your legs and attaches them to your heart. This allows blood to bypass the blockage and supply nutrients and oxygen to your heart.
It’s also important that you make changes to your lifestyle to prevent the progression of CAD. Quitting smoking, eating healthy, and managing your blood pressure are all steps you can take to improve your heart health.
Learn more about non-surgical and surgical treatments available for coronary artery disease today by calling the office nearest you or booking a consultation online.