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Coronary Artery Disease

AdvaCardio

Cardiologists located in The Woodlands, TX & Houston, TX

Advancements in medical technology have made coronary artery disease (CAD) quite treatable and even preventable. The interventional cardiology specialists at AdvaCardio provide residents in the Houston metropolitan area the most effective, nonsurgical CAD therapies available. For your convenience, they have offices in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. Whether you’re worried about developing CAD or have already been diagnosed, these highly-skilled professionals can devise a care strategy that helps you overcome CAD. Call today for an appointment or try their online scheduling service.

Coronary Artery Disease Q & A

What is coronary artery disease (CAD)?

Coronary artery disease occurs when the major vessels (coronary arteries) supplying blood to your heart start to narrow. The narrowing prevents normal blood flow to your heart and starves this powerful muscle of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.

This is often due to cholesterol-containing deposits known as plaque building up along the walls of your arteries. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can also cause your arteries to thicken and narrow.

What are the symptoms of CAD?

Unfortunately, symptoms of CAD often don’t occur until after a blockage becomes severe, and that can take decades. As the disease progresses, you may notice unexpected shortness of breath or chest pain (angina) with even mild exertion.

Lack of blood flow to your heart can impair your heart’s ability to function and eventually lead to heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart attack.

There are medical conditions and certain lifestyle choices that greatly increase your risk of developing CAD, including:

  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excess weight
  • Smoking

A family history of cardiac disease may also increase your risk of developing CAD. You’re also at higher risk when you have several medical conditions at once, which doctors call “metabolic syndrome.” These conditions include issues such as elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, increased insulin levels, and excess fat around the waist.

Fortunately, there are many ways to decrease your risk of developing significant CAD. Even if you aren’t having symptoms of CAD, the specialists at AdvaCardio can identify your risk factors and use that information to recommend preventive treatment or order further diagnostic studies.  

What is the treatment for CAD?

Preventive therapy for CAD may include:

  • Strict control of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol with lifestyle changes and medication as necessary
  • Reducing stress and learning how to manage it
  • Maintaining a healthy weight with increased physical activity and a nutritious heart-friendly diet

If your AdvaCardio specialist suspects CAD, they may order echocardiograms and other simple, noninvasive diagnostic studies to help determine whether your heart is functioning normally.  

They may also recommend you undergo cardiac catheterization, which is a minimally-invasive diagnostic study like stress test that gives them a clear view of whether and where a blockage is forming.

Your doctor then uses these study results to design the most effective treatment strategy for you, which can include nonsurgical interventions such as angioplasty with or without stent placement.