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Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease - Treatments

It is recommended to first slow down coronary artery disease by improving the health of your heart and blood vessels, through lifestyle changes. Making lifestyle choices to control the risk factors for coronary artery disease is the best long-term measure.

Drugs and surgical techniques can open up narrowed coronary arteries. Optimal medical therapy such as aspirin (blood thinners), beta blockers (cardiac protective) and statins (cholesterol lowering medications) is given to all patients with coronary artery disease.

While many people are able to manage this disease with lifestyle changes and medications, others with severe coronary artery disease may need coronary angioplasty or surgery. There are various procedures to improve coronary blood flow (revascularisation):

  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI): A common treatment for severe blockage of the coronary arteries, it is also known as coronary or balloon angioplasty / percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) with coronary stent placement.

    stent heart illustration

    In PTCA, a small balloon or stent is used to help keep the part of the artery that is blocked open. The latest option within PTCA is the use of drug-eluting stents, which are stents covered with a drug, which supposedly has been shown to reduce the rate of re-narrowing of the arteries. If percutaneous coronary intervention does not widen the artery or if complications occur, you may need coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: This is an open heart surgery where a new route is created for blood to go around a blocked part of a coronary artery to supply your heart with enough blood to relieve chest pain.

Coronary Artery Disease - Preparing for surgery

Coronary Artery Disease - Post-surgery care

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