Artery disease is a condition where fatty deposits (plaque) build up along the innermost layer of the coronary arteries or the peripheral arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs. Over time, this buildup leads to thickening (called atherosclerosis) that narrows the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood through the artery. Severe artery blockages can lead to cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or tissue death (gangrene) in the legs.
There are a number of approaches to artery disease treatment. Depending on the age, health and medical history of the patient as well as the type and extent of the disease, physicians may recommend:
- Modification of risk factors contributing to artery disease, including smoking, lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, and high blood pressure.
- Medication to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, and keep platelets in the blood from sticking together.
- Balloon angioplasty, which is a minimally invasive procedure to open blocked arteries and a stent placed in the artery to keep it open and prevent it from re-narrowing.
- Surgery, including a coronary artery bypass graft or CABG surgery (uses an artery from the leg to bypass a blocked coronary artery), transmyocardial revascularization (creates new channels for blood flow) and coronary endarterectomy (removes plaque from inside the artery).
- A hybrid approach involving two or more of these artery disease treatment approaches.
For state-of-the-art artery disease treatment including coronary artery disease treatment in the Boston area, patients can turn to the Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Learn more about artery disease treatment and Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Artery disease treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital
The Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital is equipped with the latest technology and staffed by a team of physicians and caregivers who are among the country's best providers of cardiovascular treatment and care. Combining innovative and compassionate care with leading-edge research into new artery disease treatment and other therapies for cardiovascular conditions, the Center has helped Brigham and Women's Hospital earn a reputation as one of the top cardiovascular centers in the country.
Artery disease treatment, including vascular surgery, is carefully coordinated among the cardiologists, surgeons and other specialists who may be needed to help treat the disease. By delivering a full range of cardiovascular services in a single building, the Cardiovascular Center facilitates better communication between each member of the treatment team.
Research into treatment of artery surgery, heart disease and more
Brigham and Women's Hospital is renowned for its cardiovascular research. This research has resulted in many advances in cardiovascular care and cardiac surgery, including:
- The first mitral valve repair surgery.
- The first heart transplant in New England.
- The first direct current cardioversion for atrial fibrillation treatment.
- The first use of anti-arrhythmic drugs to treat patients who have had a heart attack.
Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital and artery disease treatment, as well as the many other treatment services available from Brigham and Women's Heart & Vascular Center.