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Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common cause of heart attacks, and Geisinger doctors treat CAD every day. With CAD, your coronary arteries become narrowed because a waxy substance called plaque builds up. If the plaque breaks free, it can block the flow of blood to your heart, causing a heart attack.

CAD is a chronic condition. There is no cure, but there are many treatments and ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack or of developing heart failure.

What you should know about coronary artery disease:

  • CAD risk factors such as age and family history are out of your control, but a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you control risk factors such as:
  • Your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your risk factors for CAD, as well as perform imaging tests to look for blocked coronary arteries. The most common treatment for opening blocked arteries is angioplasty.

Why choose Geisinger for your coronary artery disease care?

  • Leaders in angioplasty: Angioplasty is the life-saving treatment for people having a heart attack because of a blocked coronary artery. The time between arriving in the emergency room and treatment is known as door-to-balloon time. Our door-to-balloon time far exceeds the national average and is the fastest in the region.
  • Specialized expertise: CAD may be a common condition, but there is nothing routine about how we treat it. Our interventional cardiologists and surgeons work together to determine the right level of intervention, whether than means medical management, angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
  • Innovative heart imaging: Advanced heart imaging such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) allow us to more accurately evaluate blocked arteries. These tests allow earlier intervention, lowering the risk of a heart attack.

Treatment options

Coronary artery disease is a chronic condition, but there are several treatments to help reduce your risk for heart attack, including:

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