Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build up in the coronary arteries. These blood vessels supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood, and the buildup can restrict or block the supply.
Sometimes, this condition is also called coronary heart disease (CHD) or ischemic heart disease.
Coronary artery disease can be difficult to detect and diagnose. Aurora Health Care offers the most advanced diagnostic methods and treatments, from leading heart experts. We’ll provide you with a range of care options, with many treatments available in your community so you can stay close to home.
Coronary artery disease develops over years. You might not even suspect you have it until it causes symptoms like angina (chest pain), shortness of breath or even a heart attack.
If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911.
Coronary artery disease can cause a range of symptoms. If you experience symptoms, but don’t think you’re having a heart attack, call your doctor. Symptoms can include:
Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. As the condition worsens, some people experience potentially serious complications:
Fortunately, you can control many of the risk factors for coronary artery disease. Taking charge of your lifestyle can delay or reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, and your doctor can help.
People are more likely to develop coronary artery disease if they:
Coronary artery disease develops over time. This means it can develop without your even knowing, until it causes symptoms. That’s why it’s important to seek care from cardiovascular experts with the knowledge and technology to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis and testing at Aurora.
If we suspect coronary artery disease, we’ll ask about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. We also may use other tools, such as:
Doctors use a variety of imaging methods to get a picture of your blood vessels and organs, so they can choose the right treatment for you. Options include:
If you’re diagnosed with coronary artery disease, we’ll recommend treatments that will help improve blood flow to your heart. We may talk with you about several treatment options, such as dissolving blood clots, working to reduce the buildup of plaque or preventing a heart attack.
Your personalized treatment plan might include one or more of the following approaches.
You may improve the health of your coronary arteries with changes, such as:
Your doctor might prescribe:
We may recommend procedures to improve blood flow in your coronary arteries, such as:
Most people with coronary artery disease can also benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. We offer cardiac rehab at 14 locations in Wisconsin to get you on the road to recovery in your own community.
Learn more about cardiac rehabilitation.