Excess cholesterol in your blood can form plaque, which narrows the arteries in your heart and causes coronary artery disease (CAD). If you have symptoms of CAD or want to see if you're at risk, fellowship-trained cardiologists A. Adnan Aslam, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Roy Norman, DO, of Northwest Houston Heart Center can help. They have offices in Tomball, Cypress, Magnolia, and The Woodlands, Texas, offering cutting-edge diagnostic services and minimally invasive treatments for coronary artery disease. Find out how they can help you by calling your nearest office or booking an appointment online today.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition affecting the major blood vessels supplying oxygen and nutrients to your heart. It's typically due to atherosclerosis, which causes the arteries to narrow and eventually harden.
Atherosclerosis results from a build-up of sticky plaque in the arteries. Plaque consists mainly of excess cholesterol that's circulating in your blood, mixed with other particles like calcium. This mixture lines the insides of your arteries, restricting blood flow and depriving your body of oxygen.
The arteries might get blocked with plaque, or lumps may break off and form blood clots that seal the artery. These blockages are a leading cause of heart attacks.
Many people have few noticeable symptoms of coronary artery disease until they suffer a heart attack. If you do have symptoms, they're likely to include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, and exercise intolerance.
To diagnose coronary artery disease, your provider at Northwest Houston Heart Center performs a physical exam and reviews your symptoms and medical history.
There is usually a requirement of tests to confirm the cause of your symptoms and assess the condition of your heart. These tests may include:
Northwest Houston Heart Center is one of only a few locations in the Houston Metro area offering cardiac PET (positron emission tomography) scans. These scans are one of the most advanced and accurate diagnostic tools for coronary artery disease and are more accurate than the traditional nuclear stress rest (SPECT Scan) done at most other cardiology practices.
Northwest Houston Heart Center was the third center in the Houston Metro area to start offering the Cardiac PET scan and has been providing this service for over ten years and, being an early adopter of this technique, have developed tremendous expertise in this field. Dr. Aslam is Certified in the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology and Northwest Houston Heart Center’s PET Scan facility is an Accredited Facility by Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Following the assessment, your provider prepares an effective treatment program to improve your heart health and minimize your risk of a heart attack.
You might need to take medications such as beta-blockers, statins to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure medication, or nitroglycerin to treat your coronary artery disease. Advanced cases of coronary artery disease may require further intervention.
One option is balloon angioplasty, in which your provider passes a slim, flexible tube called a catheter into an artery in your groin. When the catheter reaches the blocked section of the artery, your provider inflates the tiny balloon on its end, which squashes the plaque against the artery walls.
They can also fit a mesh tube called a stent in the artery to hold it open. Drug-eluting stents contain medication that helps prevent atherosclerosis. An alternative option, also done via a catheter, is endarterectomy, where your provider scrapes away the plaque using a special tool. For the most serious cases, they can perform coronary artery bypass surgery.
For prompt evaluation of your heart health and expert treatment of coronary artery disease, call Northwest Houston Heart Center today or book an appointment online.