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Coronary Artery Disease and Ischemia
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the buildup of plaque within the arteries of the heart. The arteries harden and narrow as plaque accumulates along the vessel walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Then cardiac ischemia develops as less blood is able to reach all areas of the heart and fully supply it with the necessary amount of oxygen
Cardiac Ischemia is indicated by areas of the heart that are strained from lack of oxygen due to atherosclerosis. Ischemia patients may often feel chest pain especially during heavy activity or exercise, a condition known as angina pectoris. If untreated, the increased stress on the heart may lead to a heart attack.
You may want to speak to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms as they may indicate coronary artery disease or ischemia:
- Heart palpitations
- Pain in the chest, arm, back, jaw, neck, or shoulder
- Fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
There are a variety of options available to treat coronary artery disease. If caught early enough, your doctor may only prescribe lifestyle changes with diet and activity changes. For more progressed conditions, there is a wide array of medical treatments including:
- Surgical treatments
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Transmyocardial Revascularization
- Cardiac rehabilitation
It is important to be a well-informed patient by learning as much as possible about your health and the treatment options available to you. Ask your doctor about which treatment is best for you.
Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
TMR is an excellent consideration for patients who have tried everything but still suffer from end-stage coronary artery disease with profound physical imitations due to angina. Unfortunately, since these patients tend to be a small minority compared to the rest of their heart disease patients, many cardiologists and cardiac surgeons may not be thinking about TMR.
Have you tried everything? You may want to ask your doctor about TMR.