Find a Cardiologist to Treat Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease, also called coronary heart disease, occurs when there is a narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries caused by cholesterol and calcium buildup. The coronary arteries supply blood and oxygen to your heart. As the arteries become narrower, less blood is able to get to the heart.
An EKG and stress test are often the first tests given when coronary artery disease is suspected. If further testing is needed, a cardiac catheterization is done. With this test, dye is injected directly into the coronary arteries under the guidance of an x-ray, and a picture is taken of the inside of the arteries to find the location of the blockages.
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
Symptoms of heart disease will vary depending on the severity of the disease. Some people, such as those with diabetes, may have no symptoms at all.
Typical symptoms may include:
- Heaviness, tightness, pressure or pain in the chest behind the breastbone
- Pain radiating in chest, arms, shoulders, jaw, neck and/or back
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sweating or “cold sweat”
- Rapid or irregular heart beats
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or extreme weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, a Williamsport, PA cardiologist at UPMC can help.
Coronary Artery Disease Causes
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, research suggests that coronary artery disease begins when damage occurs to the inner layers of the coronary arteries.
Factors that may lead to coronary artery damage include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels from insulin resistance or diabetes
- Inflammation of the blood vessels
At UPMC our skilled heart and vascular team can assess your symptoms and provide you with the right diagnosis. If you or a loved one has coronary artery disease, we can create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs. To learn more, Find a Provider at UPMC Susquehanna.
Coronary Artery Disease Treatment
To treat coronary artery disease, some people may only need careful medical management along with proper diet, exercise and medication to control blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol.
Others with heavy blockages may require angioplasty, a procedure in which a balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open it further. A metal stent may be placed after the artery is opened to keep it from narrowing again.
Bypass surgery may be required if multiple arteries are blocked, or if there are multiple blockages in the arteries which make angioplasty difficult or impossible.
Cardiologists at UPMC specialize in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.