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Coronary Artery Disease Treatment

The goal of coronary artery disease treatment is to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. To do this, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, medications or even surgery.

Lifestyle

Changes in lifestyle, including dieting, quitting smoking and losing weight, can help reduce your risk of coronary artery disease. Talk with your doctor about an exercise plan that is safe for you.

Medications

Your doctor may prescribe medications to:

  • lower your clotting risk (e.g., aspirin)
  • relieve chest pain (e.g., nitrates)
  • reduce blood pressure (e.g., beta blockers, ACE inhibitors)
  • reduce cholesterol (e.g., statins)
  • control heart rate (e.g., beta blockers, anti-arrhythmic drugs)
  • control blood sugar (e.g., anti-diabetic medications)

Procedures & Surgery

There are two proven approaches that your doctor can use to treat your coronary artery disease. These are balloon angioplasty and bypass surgery.

  • Balloon angioplasty is used to open blocked coronary vessels. During this minimally invasive procedure, a catheter (thin, flexible tube) is guided into the blocked artery and a tiny balloon is inflated to clear the way so that blood flow is restored. In some cases, a stent (small mesh tube) is inserted to keep the artery open.
     
  • Atherectomy is a blade or laser that is used in combination with a catheter to clear out plaque build-up in a blood vessel.
     
  • Bypass surgery is a common approach that surgeons use to create new routes through which blood can flow around blocked or narrowed arteries. These “bypasses” are created using healthy vessels taken from the chest, arms or legs.