Q:

How do you treat cardiac ischemia?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for cardiac ischemia, also known as myocardial ischemia, include medications and certain surgical procedures to improve blood flow to the heart, according to Mayo Clinic. Lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising are also part of an overall treatment plan.

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Full Answer

Medications used to treat cardiac ischemia include aspirin, nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and cholesterol-lowering medications, as listed by Mayo Clinic. Health care professionals may also prescribe angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and ranolazine. If more aggressive treatment is necessary, the patient may need to undergo angioplasty and stenting, a procedure in which a surgeon inserts a narrow catheter into the narrowed artery and inflates a balloon there to widen it.

Another option is coronary bypass surgery, a procedure in which a surgeon creates a graft from another part of the patient's body to enable blood flow around the narrowed artery. Patients may also opt for enhanced external counterpulsation, which involves inflating cuffs around the legs to put pressure on blood vessels and improve blood flow.

Patients should also follow a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes limiting saturated fat in the diet, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and decreasing stress, as instructed by Mayo Clinic. Patients should also seek treatment for underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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