Coronary blockages

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Submitted by Dr T on February 6, 2013 – 11:42am

Question: 
Can a coronary blockage be reduced or removed without surgical intervention?
I had a recent abnormal ECG. I had no pains or breathlessness, but I had the ECG taken because my recently had an infarct and I wanted to be careful.  I had one taken 18 months ago, which was normal. I have reduced my food and alcohol intake and I am walking at least half an hour each day; adjusting my lifestyle at a comfortable rate which I will maintain.

Hi Peter,
No. Despite drug companies’ assertions to the contrary a blockage is there for life. Medications such as statins, may prevent or slow down the formation of new blockages. Depending on the number of blockages and their location, for many patients a heart healthy lifestyle is protective for many years. The same principle applies to whether (when the time comes) you will need an intervention such as stenting or bypass surgery:
Since you have known Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and are concerned about future treatments, take this test. It will tell you where you stand and what would benefit you most at this stage.

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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