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Coronary Artery Disease

Heart & Vascular Institute -  - Interventional Cardiovascular Specialist

Heart & Vascular Institute

Interventional Cardiovascular Specialists located in Dearborn, Detroit, Wayne, and Southfield, MI

Coronary artery disease affects roughly 16.5 million Americans and is the leading cause of death among both men and women. Because coronary artery disease requires ongoing management, the dedicated cardiologists at Heart & Vascular Institute in Wayne, Dearborn, Detroit, and Southfield, Michigan, provide integrative care. If you have a history of coronary artery disease or certain risk factors (like atherosclerosis), don’t hesitate to contact the clinic nearest you directly. Book your exam through the website or call any office.

Coronary Artery Disease Q & A

What causes coronary artery disease?

Having coronary artery disease means that you have a serious buildup of plaque in your coronary arteries. These arteries are responsible for supplying your heart with oxygen-rich blood and a steady supply of nutrients. 

Needless to say, if your coronary arteries become too narrow or even fully blocked, your heart muscle suffers.

Common causes and risk factors associated with coronary artery disease include:

  • Older age, especially after age 65
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking 
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity 

Coronary artery disease also affects men more commonly than women. 

How does a doctor diagnose coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease can lead to acute coronary syndromes, such as unstable angina, non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), and ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). 

These conditions, among others, are often identifiable through a series of tests and screenings. Your cardiologist at Heart & Vascular Institute may recommend:

  • Stress test 
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Blood tests to check chemical markers

To get a clear view of how well blood is flowing through your heart, your cardiologist may recommend a cardiac catheterization procedure. 

This heart catheter screening involves injecting a specialized dye into your arteries through a narrow tube. Your cardiologist can identify any blockages as the dye shows up on an X-ray image.

It’s also important to let your cardiologist know about any symptoms you’re experiencing. While coronary artery disease is often a silent condition, for some, it can lead to chest pain (angina) and heart muscle cramping (ischemia).

Is there an effective treatment for coronary artery disease?

Early intervention is essential for preventing a heart attack. Your cardiologist at Heart & Vascular Institute provides the most up-to-date treatment to help with your coronary artery disease condition.

Lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, losing weight, and quitting smoking, are all important along your road to improving your arterial health. 

Your cardiologist can also prescribe certain medications, including beta blockers or cholesterol-modifying drugs, to treat your coronary artery disease.

However, in more advanced cases, minimally invasive surgery may be necessary. For instance, if your doctor identifies a blockage during your cardiac catheterization, they can push a balloon through the catheter, which inflates your artery and immediately improves blood flow. 

During this procedure, known as an angioplasty, your cardiologist may then insert a stent to keep your artery open. 

Coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary for blocked coronary arteries. With this procedure, your cardiologist can use a vessel from another part of your body to replace the damaged coronary artery in your heart. This type of open-heart surgery is almost always a last resort. 

Heart & Vascular Institute can help you manage coronary artery disease to protect your heart health. Click on the online scheduling tool or call to book your evaluation over the phone with the office nearest you today.