Symptoms of Angina & Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) are signs that you are at risk. Angina is known to exist in the form of Chest Pain, Shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, palpitations.
Thanks to great innovation and technology, there are several effective treatments for Angina depending on your medical condition. If you have been diagnosed (or self diagnosed) with Angina, what are the treatment options?
Treatments for Angina:
- Medical Management from Medications
- This usually the first step in management of Chest Pain. This is an adequate option for less severe disease for periodic chest pain resulting from minor blockages
- Medical management includes meds to assist with symptoms but also meds to control other contributing risk factors of CAD such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes including adjustments in lifestyle (diet, exercise)
- Angioplasty / Stent
- Angioplasty is an invasive procedure where a catheter is inserted (usually in the femoral artery in the leg) and guided up into the Coronary Arteries where a balloon is inflated to flatten the plaque firmly against the arterial wall.
- Most angioplasty procedures now include the insertion of a stent which is a wire mesh tube to keep the artery open. The procedure is generally safe and indicated in acute scenarios of a heart attack or arteries that are shown to be almost completely blocked.
- Bypass Surgery – Coronary Artery Bypass Graph (CABG)
- Bipass surgery is the most severe of all procedures .This is a fully invasive procedure that requires complete access to the heart to create by-pass or alternate pathways around completely blocked arteries. The good news about Bipass Surgery, is it is now more uncommon as other technologies have as effective with much less risk and complications. Bpass surgery is now only necessary in rare cases of a blockage in one main coronary artery.
- Trans-myocardial Revascularization Procedure (TMR)
- TMR is also another invasive procedure to improve perfusion or blood flow to ischemic regions of the heart. TMR is a procedure often done in conjunction with Bypass surgery where a fine laser is used to burn microscopic holes in the myocardium (heart muscle) to promote angio-genesis (arterial growth). The mechanism of action or science behind TMR is not yet proven but is seems to reduce symptoms and increase coronary perfusion.
- Cardiac Therapy – (medical term External Counterpulsation Therapy)
- External Counterpulsation Therapy is the only truly effective non-invasive procedure for chest pain that has virtually no risk, and no real side effects. The mechanical process of Cardiac Therapy is quite simple. The treatment inflates blood pressure – like cuffs in a sequential order starting at the calfs, thighs and then to the buttocks mechanically delivering blood back to the heart with great force. This rehabilitation process forces blood through narrow and dormant (closed) vessels creating great improvements in blood flow back to the heart. See next section
- ECP Therapy is a viable treatment option for patients compared to other invasive procedures due to its low risk, yet highly effective. EECP Therapy / procedure significantly reduces symptoms in patients that suffer from symptoms of CAD such as Chest Pain, Shortness of breath, fatigue and heart palpitations.