In coronary artery disease, the coronary arteries narrow from plaque, a substance made up of fatty deposit, building up in the coronary artery walls. Narrowing of the coronary arteries may cause the following symptoms:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the left arm or neck
- Plaque can also rupture, causing a complete blockage of the artery and a heart attack.
There are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors that contribute to developing coronary artery disease. Risk factors that can be modified include diet, exercise, quitting smoking and weight control. Risk factors that one cannot modify include age, race, gender and hereditary factors.
- Lifestyle modification, including a healthy diet, exercise and quitting smoking
- Medical, including a daily drug regimen
- Angioplasty, including the placement of stents to open any blockages
- Surgical, including bypass surgery
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a national leader in treating patients using the off-pump approach— heart surgeries done on beating hearts, as opposed to surgery while on cardiac bypass—and approximately half of coronary artery disease patients are operated on this way. By using this technique, we may reduce potential adverse effects of cardio-pulmonary bypass.
Our cardiologists also use the latest technological advances in stents and catheter-based devices to treat coronary artery and valvular heart disease. Our advanced imaging techniques allow us to diagnose and treat a wide range of vascular and structural heart issues.