Coronary artery disease is a major concern for many Americans, and it’s the leading cause of death worldwide. If you’re concerned that coronary artery disease may be putting you at risk for a heart attack or other complications, schedule a visit with the team at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates. They work with patients in Delray Beach, Florida, to check for coronary artery disease and treat the disease with lifestyle changes or stent insertions. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
Coronary artery disease is a condition that develops when the main blood vessels that supply your heart with blood become diseased or damaged.
Often, this is the result of cholesterol-containing deposits (also known as plaque) building up in your arteries. This can eventually lead to decreased blood flow causing chest pain, shortness of breath, or even a heart attack.
Coronary artery disease usually develops slowly over time, so it’s best to visit a cardiologist to check and see if it is a concern for you. The team may recommend one or more of the following tests to check for coronary artery disease.
This is an assessment that evaluates how well your heart performs under physical stress or exertion like exercise. Typically, you walk on a treadmill or pedal an exercise bike while medical technicians closely monitored you and an EKG tracks your heart’s activity.
This test uses ultrasound imaging technology to obtain detailed images of your heart’s structure and real-time images of blood flow during exercise.
The technician takes an ultrasound before your stress test and then you exercise just as you would with the standard cardiac stress test as the EKG tracks your heart’s activity. When you are finished with the test, the technician takes another ultrasound for comparison.
In this procedure, your provider inserts a long thin tube (catheter) into an artery in your neck, arm, or groin, and then threads it through your blood vessels and into your heart. They can then check for blockages through a number of tests.
One common test is an angiogram. Your provider injects a special dye into the heart via the catheter to view blood flow through your heart. Via X-ray images, the dye highlights where your arteries have narrowed or are blocked. Sometimes, they can clear a blockage during the same procedure.
As preventive cardiologists, the team at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates works with you on what you can control, like diet and lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and reducing stress in your life can often go far in treating and preventing coronary artery disease. If you need medications, your provider can prescribe those as well.
If you need surgery to treat coronary artery disease, your provider can place a stent in your heart, a procedure known as angioplasty. During this procedure, they insert a long, thin tube into the artery along with a tiny balloon. They then inflate the balloon to open up the artery.
To learn more about treatments for coronary artery disease, call the office or book an appointment online today.