What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It is caused by a narrowing of the major vessels that supply blood to the heart. Narrowing happens when plaque, cholesterol and other material, build up on the vessels’ inner walls. This is called atherosclerosis CAD can result in coronary heart disease also called ischemic heart disease. Over time, CAD can weaken the heart and lead to heart failure.

CAD may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or other symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack. Coronary artery disease develops over decades and may have no symptoms.

If you are experiencing severe chest pain, numbness on the right side, dizziness, nausea, call 911 for emergency help.

If you are concerned you might have a problem with your heart, talk to your primary care provider. To make an appointment with a cardiologist, call 866-GUTHRIE (866-488-4743).

Risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease include:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High stress
  • Unhealthy diet

How is it diagnosed?

With a combination of risk factors above or if you are experiencing symptoms, your primary care doctor may send you to a cardiologist for testing. Tests can include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress Test
  • Cardiac catheterization and angiogram
  • Heart scan

How is coronary artery disease treated?

You and your cardiologist work together to create your best treatment plan. Your plan may include lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking, being more physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Treatment can also include medications to manage risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Surgical procedures, such as angioplasty, can also help restore blood flow to the heart.

Heart disease care at Guthrie

  • The largest cardiovascular team in the region caring for heart patients including non-invasive and interventional cardiologists; cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgeons; advanced practice providers; nurses; therapists; and diagnostic technicians, all trained in specialized care for your heart.
  • 14 locations throughout the Finger Lakes and southern tier of New York and the northern tier of Pennsylvania. Our team approach to care means wherever you are seen, we work with all available specialists and primary care providers to create the best heart care plan for you.
  • Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital was named among the top 10% in the nation for coronary interventional procedures for 5 years in a row (2016-2020) by Healthgrades.
  • Named one of IBM Health’s Top 50 in Cardiovascular in the nation 11 times, Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital is one of only 10 hospitals nationwide to receive this ranking more than 10 times.
  • State-of-the-art Heart and Vascular Care Center for cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and structural heart treatments. You, the patient, are at the center of all care – with private rooms and close proximity to the ICU and operating rooms. A spacious waiting area for your family allows them to be close by and receive real-time updates on your status.
  • Guthrie Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic specializes in treating pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the heart and lungs. Our team of physicians and staff work with your primary care and specialty care providers to develop personalized and coordinated care just for you.

Guthrie heart surgeons are part of the largest cardiac care team in the northern Pa. and southern N.Y. Your heart is in good hands at Guthrie.

Guthrie interventional cardiology has advanced training in cardiac catheterization, performing ablation, stenting, angioplasty other structural heart procedures 

Our electrophysiology doctors and arrhythmia center teams help treat patients with arrhythmia issues like aFib using pacemakers or procedures like ablation.  

Guthrie Cardiac and Vascular team treats patients with circulatory diseases: abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease. 

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