Possible treatment options
Making lifestyle changes and or taking medication to treat other risk factors can often reduce genetic influences and prevent CAD from developing, even in older adults.
Treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD) may include either one or a combination of the following.
- Healthy dietary plan to prevent or reduce high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and to maintain a healthy weight.
- Regular physical activity or an exercise regime (Consult a doctor before embarking on one).
- Quit smoking or avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Effective stress management.
- Decrease the "workload" on the heart and relieve symptoms of CAD.
- Lower and control cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Prevent blood clots.
- Prevent or delay the need for medical procedures.
Discussions with a doctor will provide a better understanding on possible medical treatments suitable.
- Angioplasty is a procedure to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. A thin tube with a balloon or another device on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores the flow of blood.
- Coronary artery bypass graft, or commonly known as a bypass surgery, arteries or veins from other areas in the body are used to "bypass" the narrowed coronary arteries.
- A small wire mesh tube (stent) coated with a drug (Paxlitaxel, an anti-proliferative drug which inhibits unwanted cell growth) is placed in the artery to keep it open after the procedure (drug eluting stent / DES). However, studies have shown that the effects of the DES is only short term and in 5% to 25% of patients treated with DES have shown signs of DES implications and restenosis or a re-narrowing of the arteries after 6 months.
- A DCB (drug-coated balloon) is a potential alternative treatment for CAD as opposed to a DES. It combines the same basic concept of drug delivery of a stent (bare meal stent) with a coronary balloon, hence a DCB. Features a polymer-free drug carrier matrix which is bio-absorbable, therefore does not leave behind a wire mesh after the process. The matrix concept effectively prevents the drug from ‘washing away’ early.
Discussions with a doctor will provide a better understanding on available treatments.