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Angina – Treatment

November 16, 2020
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How do we treat angina for most people? If it's stable angina, we treat it with nitroglycerin, nitro patches and drugs, such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, or even a drug called ranolazine or ranexa, which is now generically available. Obviously, if patients have difficult to control chest pain or angina, or what we call anginal equivalent, and those people that don't have the typical pattern, but their symptoms are potentially angina in nature. Meaning the shortness of breath with activity or the nausea with activity or the heartburn with activity for those patients, we often evaluate them further with angiography. Angio means blood vessel, graphy means study. So angiography is basically study of blood vessels and it's done in two ways. One is through CAT scans, which is not invasive, but gives you the same radiation in the same contrast and allows the radiologist to outline the arteries of the heart. And look for blockages and alternative is what we call a coronary angiogram or a heart catheterization where we go in through the radial artery or the femoral artery. And we can take pictures of the heart arteries, identify the blockage, and if needed to put in interventions, such as balloons and stents in place to keep it from occurring in the longterm. And then of course, for most people, whether without intervention who have coronary disease, we recommend the fundamental, the foundation, diet exercise, lifestyle modification, daily aspirin, and then cholesterol and blood pressure lowering with medications.

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