It’s Important ReSources HeartHealth
SURGICAL PROCEDURES FOR TREATMENT OF CAD WHERE TO FIND MORE INFORMATION
What is a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)? The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
A coronary artery bypass graft is open-heart surgery 222 Queen St., Suite 1402
that involves taking a section of a blood vessel from Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V9
another part of the body (e.g. the leg or chest) and Phone: 613-569-4361
relocating it above and below the clogged portion of Check your local phone listings for the regional office
the artery that has been blocking the free flow of nearest you or visit their website.
blood to the heart. The operation usually takes 3 to ww2.heartandstroke.ca
6 hours, depending on how many blood vessels need
to be sewn together (grafted). People who have had Health Canada - Healthy Heart Kit
the surgery report that their health is much improved www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ccdpc-cpcmc/hhk-
in over 90% of the cases. It is important to tcs/english/04_inactive/04_inac_stage3.htm
understand that coronary artery bypass graft surgery
is not a cure for CAD. Therefore, it is vital that Heart Center Online
measures to prevent hardening of the arteries (e.g.
exercise, heart healthy diet, appropriate medications)
Canadian Health Network
What is balloon angioplasty? www.canadianhealthnetwork.org
Balloon angioplasty, also known as percutaneous
trans-luminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a American Heart Association
procedure where the surgeon pushes the plaque on www.americanheart.org
the walls of the clogged artery back against the artery
wall. This allows for better blood flow through the National Institutes of Health
artery. The procedure is accomplished by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
insertion of a thin plastic tube (catheter) into an artery. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health
The doctor guides the catheter into the large artery
(aorta) that sends blood from the heart to the rest of The information found in this PROfile health brochure is of
the body and from there into the coronary artery. a general nature only. It is not intended to replace the advice
of your pharmacist, physician, or other healthcare provider.
Once the catheter is in place (at the part of the artery If you have questions relating to your specific health
that is narrowed), the balloon tip is inflated and concerns, please contact your personal healthcare provider.
pushes the plaque against the artery walls.
Angioplasty allows the blood to flow more freely to
the heart. This procedure is effective about 85-90%
of the time, but up to 35% of people experience
re-blocking of their artery within 6 months. If this
Your PROfile Pharmacist
has many resources for heart health Coronary Artery
education and is always available to
happens, a second angioplasty may be considered.
What are coronary stents?
discuss your health concerns! Disease & Angina
An expandable mesh tube or ‘stent’ made of high
quality stainless steel is placed over the balloon used EXCLUSIVELY AT
962894 Revised 2008
in the angioplasty procedure and left in place to help
keep the plaque pushed back. Although the long-term
effectiveness of the procedure is still under
investigation, it may reduce the chances of needing
a second angioplasty.
Atherosclerosis is a term that is more commonly WHAT DOES ANGINA FEEL LIKE? Management of CAD and angina involves a combination
known as ‘hardening of the arteries’. It refers to a of prevention and treatment strategies.
Unless you are under a doctor’s care for angina and
condition that causes the arteries supplying the heart
have strict instructions on how to handle an attack,
with blood to become narrow and stiff. This results in Cholesterol management medications help to prevent
you should get emergency help at once if you
partial blockage of the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the formation and worsening of plaque on the walls of
experience any of the following angina symptoms,
the heart. arteries. For a full description of cholesterol management
as they could be a sign of a heart attack. Chest pain,
medications see the PROfile® brochure entitled
pressure or a vague chest discomfort is most often
Because the heart is not receiving as much oxygen ‘Cholesterol Management’.
used to describe angina. It may feel like a squeezing
as it needs, chest pain (angina) may occur. If a clot
vice or crushing pressure deep in the chest behind
comes free and totally blocks blood supply to part of Blood pressure lowering medications help to reduce
the breastbone and may also be felt in the shoulders,
the heart, a heart attack will occur. Coronary artery the work that the heart has to do and prevent the
arms, back, neck or jaw.
disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart formation of plaque. For a full description of blood
disease and refers to the heart condition caused by pressure lowering medications see the PROfile
The feeling of angina pain can vary from person to
atherosclerosis. brochure entitled ‘High Blood Pressure’.
person and can be brought on by different activities
WHAT CAUSES ATHEROSCLEROSIS? ASA in a dose of 81 mg to 325 mg daily can significantly
• Cigarette smoking reduce the risk of heart attack in people who have
Hardening and narrowing of the arteries is caused by the been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Always
accumulation of cholesterol and other fatty substances • Eating and digesting a heavy meal discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor before
(called plaque) on the walls of arteries. Plaque causes starting to take this medication on your own.
• Increased physical activity, such as walking or
the flow of blood to the heart to slow down. climbing stairs
Beta blockers (e.g. metoprolol, atenolol) slow the
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CAD? • Strong emotions, such as anger or frustration, even
heart’s resting rate and reduce the force of heart
• The early warning signs of CAD include fatigue, muscle contraction and the heart’s workload.
• Sudden changes in temperature or altitude
pain and/or dizziness.
Calcium channel blockers (e.g. amlodipine,
• Angina is a type of temporary chest pain, pressure HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK verapamil) increase the blood flow through the
or discomfort that occurs when the heart needs FOR CAD AND ANGINA? heart and may reduce the workload of the
extra oxygen. When a person experiences angina heart by reducing the strength of contraction
only when exercising or engaged in activity the • Eat a heart-healthy diet of the heart.
condition is called ‘stable angina’. If a person that is low in cholesterol
experiences angina even when resting the condition and fats and oils Nitrates (e.g. nitroglycerin, isosorbide) widen
is called ‘unstable angina’. or dilate the walls of blood vessels. This
• Exercise on a regular
allows more oxygen-rich blood to reach the
heart and lessens the pain associated with
• Quit smoking and stay angina attacks.
away from second-hand
smoke Talk with your PROfile Pharmacist about the best way
• Keep good control of your blood pressure to take nitrates when using them to treat or prevent an
• Keep good control of your blood sugar if you have
• Keep a healthy weight through appropriate diet