What Are Some Treatments for Blockage of the Left Anterior Descending Artery?

Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery are possible treatments for blockage of the left anterior descending artery, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Possible treatments for partial blockages include medications and reducing risk factors for further blockage, such as smoking, high blood glucose levels, high blood cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.

The left anterior descending artery is one three coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. When it becomes completely blocked, a heart attack results. If there is a partial blockage, the heart may not get enough oxygen resulting in chest pain or pressure, pain in the shoulders or jaw, becoming easily tired with exercise, or weakness. Some patients have coronary artery disease with no symptoms.

During angioplasty, a balloon moves through the coronary artery to widen the vessel, maintains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Sometimes a stent is put into place to hold the artery open. An alternate procedure involves working a catheter fitted with a tiny cutting device or a laser through the artery to destroy the blockage.

During coronary artery bypass surgery, the surgeon attaches a vein taken from the leg, arm or chest above and below the blocked area of the coronary artery, reports Johns Hopkins Medicine. The vein transports oxygen-rich blood around the blockage to improve blood flow to the heart.