Heart & Vascular

Chest Pain

Conditions and Services

Angina is chest pain or discomfort occurring in an area of your heart muscle as a result of not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Pressure or squeezing may be felt in the chest and pain may also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back and may feel like indigestion. Angina is not a disease – it is a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually Coronary Artery Disease.

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Prevention
  • Continue the modification of risk factors – eliminate tobacco use, exercise regularly, eat a heart-healthy diet, reduce stress and take any/all medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Regular follow-up with your doctor

If you have had surgery, attend a cardiac rehabilitation program.

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Treatment Options

Specific treatment will be determined by your doctor based upon your diagnosis, age, overall health, medical history, extent of disease, tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies.

Treatments may include:

  • Modification of risk factors including smoking, elevated cholesterol levels, lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, obesity and stress.
  • Medication Management to improve angina. This includes:
    • Aspirin
    • Nitrates
    • Beta blockers
    • Statins
    • Calcium channel blockers
    • Angiostensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Coronary angioplasty – a balloon is used to create a larger opening in the vessel to increase blood flow into the heart
  • Coronary artery bypass – during this surgery a bypass is created by grating a piece of a vein above and below the blocked area of a coronary artery, enabling blood flow around the obstruction

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Exams and Tests

Along with a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures to determine if angina is related to a serious heart condition may include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Stress test
  • Holter Monitoring

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