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Coronary Artery Disease Treatment

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Coronary Artery Disease: 
An Overview

The lifeline of the heart, the coronary arteries, stem from the aorta, playing a crucial role in providing oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle - empowering it to pump blood effectively throughout your body. A healthy coronary artery ensures an unhindered flow of this life-sustaining blood. However, the condition known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) compromises this essential process.

CAD is characterised by the narrowing of the coronary arteries due to accumulations of cholesterol-rich deposits, commonly referred to as plaques. This plaque accumulation forms a blockade, restricting the volume of blood that can flow to the heart. The danger of CAD lies in its ability to remain unnoticed until a blood clot happens, triggered by the plaque rupture.

Understanding the intricacies and implications of Coronary Artery Disease can be overwhelming. That's why you need an expert in the field, someone like Dr. Karthigesan. His vast experience, coupled with a compassionate and holistic approach to patient care, makes him the ideal choice to help navigate this health journey.

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  • Chest pain, called angina
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness/ feeling dizzy
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting/stomach discomfort
  • Constant tiredness
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Atherosclerosis (formation of plague)
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of CAD
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Tobacco usage/smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance/ diabetes
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Certain pregnancy complications
  • Homocysteine
  • High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Certain autoimmune diseases
  • High triglycerides
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
A heart expert trying to touch a virtual heart illustrates the heart care from Coronary Artery Disease.

Types of Coronary  Artery Disease

Stable Coronary Heart Disease
This chronic variant evolves gradually over the course of many years. The progressive narrowing of your coronary arteries leads to a reduction in the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Although symptoms may become noticeable during exertion, they typically allow for everyday life to continue, with the condition being managed medically and monitored.
Acute Coronary Syndrome
This is a sudden and severe medical condition that needs immediate emergency attention. An unexpected rupture of the plaque in your coronary artery leads to the formation of a blood clot, effectively blocking the flow of blood to your heart. This sudden obstruction culminates in a heart attack, underscoring the urgent and critical nature of the syndrome. This usually manifests in the form of sudden onset of chest pain, breathing difficulty, and sweating.

CAD  Treatment Options

Your coronary artery disease treatment option will be decided based on the severity of your symptoms as well as any existing concurrent health conditions. In certain critical situations, such as during a heart attack, immediate emergency intervention may be required. Your treatment options will include:

Coronary Angiogram

Coronary Angiogram is typically carried out to evaluate the extent of the blockage, and it plays a crucial role in formulating a strategic treatment plan.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)

PTCA is a procedure intended to clear obstructions in the coronary arteries. This less invasive technique aims to improve the circulation of blood to the heart muscle.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)

CABG is a significant surgical procedure that functions to redirect blood flow around areas of blockage or narrowing within the major arteries. It helps improve the flow of blood to your heart.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Dr. Karthigesan will recommend the adoption of lifelong heart-healthy lifestyle modifications. These changes will be designed to optimise your cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

Medicines

Certain pharmaceutical interventions can alleviate or prevent symptoms such as chest pain and manage associated medical conditions that may aggravate coronary heart disease.

Rehabilitation

Dr Karthigesan will provide detailed insights into the risks of sudden cardiac arrest. He will advise the appropriate measures to be taken to prevent the further worsening of symptoms. Post-heart attack rehabilitation will include emotional support, exercise training, and recommendations to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. Your return to work can be made easier with occupational therapy or vocational therapy.
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Coronary Artery Disease - Your Questions Answered

A heart attack, medically referred to as a Myocardial Infarction, is an alarming event that occurs when there is a sudden blockage of the heart's blood supply. This blockade is often caused by a rupture in cholesterol deposits known as plaques situated in the coronary arteries. The rupture leads to the formation of blood clots, which effectively obstruct the heart's blood supply. This manifests in the form of sudden chest pain, breathing difficulty, and sweating. If the restoration of the blood supply isn't expedited within a few hours, this can result in irreversible damage to the heart muscle, potentially triggering life-threatening heart rhythms at any given time.

Although not all cases of shoulder pain signify a heart attack, it's crucial to understand that shoulder pain could indeed be a symptom, particularly if it's accompanied by chest pain induced by emotional distress or physical exertion. This kind of shoulder discomfort is typically of a radiating nature, starting from the shoulder region to the left hand’s little finger.

Coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease are essentially one and the same. These terms are frequently used interchangeably within medical contexts to describe a similar condition. To be more precise, coronary heart disease is a consequence of coronary artery disease, where obstructions in the artery result in damage to the heart muscle, thereby leading to coronary heart disease.

The harmful chemicals inherent in tobacco smoke negatively impact the functionality and structure of your blood vessels, simultaneously jeopardising the overall performance of your heart. These deleterious effects elevate the risk of developing coronary heart disease, underscoring the hazardous relationship between smoking and cardiovascular health.

Diabetes, characterised by high blood sugar levels, poses a significant risk to heart health. Persistently high blood sugar can cause considerable damage to your heart's blood vessels, paving the way for coronary artery disease. Furthermore, individuals with diabetes are predisposed to other risk factors that heighten the likelihood of heart disease.

While cardiovascular disease is a broad term encompassing various diseases impacting the heart or blood vessels, coronary artery disease refers specifically to conditions affecting the coronary arteries. Despite their distinct definitions, these terms are often employed interchangeably due to their common emphasis on heart and vascular health. However, it's crucial to understand that coronary artery disease represents only a subset of the extensive range of cardiovascular diseases.

High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, does not equate to coronary artery disease. Instead, it's a separate health condition characterised by the pressure of blood against your artery walls being persistently too high. However, this sustained high pressure can, over time, lead to coronary artery disease due to the associated strain and potential damage to the heart and arteries.

Regrettably, there is no definitive cure for coronary artery disease, especially once damage to the heart muscle has occurred - it's a situation that cannot be reversed. The silver lining is that this condition, when detected early, can be effectively managed with proper medication and treatments, helping to prevent further damage. Lifestyle modifications, including healthier dietary choices, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, as well as medical or surgical treatments, can significantly contribute to disease control.

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