Angina & Coronary Artery Disease

Atherosclerosis causes angina and carotid artery disease, but you may not feel symptoms at first. At the Wake Forest Heart & Vascular Center, we can help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke with our comprehensive treatments for artery disease. 

What are Angina and Carotid Artery Disease? 

Both angina and carotid artery disease occur when plaque (a fatty substance) builds up in your arteries. Plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) causes your arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow. 

  • Angina means you have atherosclerosis in your coronary (heart) arteries. 
  • Carotid artery disease affects the arteries in your neck. 

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort caused by poor blood flow to your heart. Its most common cause is coronary heart disease (CHD), which can increase your risk of future: 

Carotid artery disease happens when plaque builds up in your neck (carotid) arteries. Atherosclerosis in the carotid artery can: 

  • Reduce blood flow to your brain 
  • Increase your risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke 

Symptoms of Angina and Carotid Artery Disease

Angina, a symptom of underlying heart disease, primarily causes chest pain and discomfort: 

  • Pressure 
  • Heaviness 
  • Tightening 
  • Aching, particularly behind the breastbone 

You may feel no symptoms of carotid artery disease until you have a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), a key warning sign of a future stroke. A TIA has the same symptoms as a stroke but is temporary. 

Diagnosing Angina and Carotid Artery Disease 

At Wake Forest Baptist, we use several tools to diagnose angina and carotid artery disease. Your physician may recommend any of the following for angina

Our tests for carotid artery disease include: 

Learn more about our specialized heart and vascular diagnosis techniques at Wake Forest Baptist. 

Treating Angina and Carotid Artery Disease at Wake Forest Baptist 

We believe it's just as important to manage your disease as it is to treat it. For some patients, medical management may even be an effective alternative to surgery. 

If you have mild or moderate blockage, or if you have already undergone surgery, we may prescribe one or more of the following:  

  • Hyperlipidemia management 
  • Medications 
  • Lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking or losing weight 
  • Exercise 
  • Regular follow-up care to monitor your condition 

Surgical options include: 

Only you and your doctor can decide which treatment is right for you. All of our patients receive pre-operative counseling to help them understand the risks and benefits of both procedures. 

Contact Us 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free) 

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 07-02-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.