Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Sentara Heart Hospital, 6th Floor • 600 Gresham Drive, Suite 8600
Norfolk, VA • 757.388.6005
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Coronary Artery Disease


Coronary artery disease develops when your coronary arteries — the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients — become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) on your arteries are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

When plaques build up, they narrow your coronary arteries, causing your heart to receive less blood. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, it can go virtually unnoticed until you have a heart attack. But there's plenty you can do to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. Start by committing to a healthy lifestyle.

Coronary artery bypass graph involves obtaining either an artery from the chest wall or a vein from the leg as a new conduit around blocked area. Whenever possible Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons maximize the use of arterial revascularization techniques.

Surgeries for Coronary Artery Disease include:

  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) — In this procedure, your cardiologist inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into the narrowed part of your artery. A wire with a deflated balloon is passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The balloon is then inflated, compressing the deposits against your artery walls
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting — is the most commonly performed "open heart" operation in the United States. CABG is performed to restore blood flow to the heart. This relieves chest pain and ischemia (restricted blood supply to the heart), improves the patient's quality of life, and in some cases, prolongs the patient's life.
  • Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting — or "beating heart" surgery is a form of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery performed without cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung machine) as a treatment for coronary heart disease.
  • Transmyocardial Revascularization — which can be done by itself or in combination with conventional coronary bypass surgery, consists of the creation of channels through the heart muscle. In time, as these channels heal, they stimulate the creation of new small vessels or capillaries by a process known as angiogenesis.