Coronary Artery Disease in Cardiology

Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease

There are a number of treatment options for coronary artery disease, including lifestyle changesmedicationssurgery or medical procedures.

Your treatment will depend on the following:

  • How much narrowing there is and where it is (if it’s near the heart muscle or if the branches are involved)
  • How many arteries are affected
  • Your symptoms
  • Your age and overall health
  • Other risk factors
  • Your preferences

Lifestyle changes:

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Adopting a heart-healthy, plant-rich eating plan
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting to a healthy body weight
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Sleeping enough
  • Establishing more social support


Medications may be recommended to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

Sometimes, medications for chest pain that comes on with activity are recommended.

Aspirin or other blood thinners may also be recommended.

Procedure or surgery:

Procedures or surgeries may be recommended if you have a severely narrowed coronary artery to reduce the risk of a heart attack.

There are two main ways to improve blood flow to the heart:

  • Placing a stent to prop open the artery, typically through a small tube placed in a blood vessel in the wrist (percutaneous coronary intervention).
  • Having open-heart surgery, or coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery, to re-route blood around the blocked or narrowed area by using other arteries or veins in the body.

Cardiac Rehabilitation:

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a 12-week program that includes a mix of supervised exercise, nutrition counseling, stress management and help to quit smoking. It also teaches you about the disease, including how you can better take control of your health and improve outcomes.

Intensive cardiac rehab might be available in your area and consists of 9 weeks of 4-hour sessions two times per week. In these sessions you get supervised exercise, as well as an hour of nutrition counseling and a meal, an hour of stress relief, and an hour of group support. The outcomes from this intensive program are usually even better than traditional cardiac rehab.

Cardiac rehab is good for patients with angina (chest pain) or heart failure, or who have had a heart attack, coronary procedure, heart valve surgery or heart transplant. 

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