Coronary arteries

Coronary arteries

Coronary arteries are what feed the heart muscle, and thus narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries affects the amount of blood that reaches the heart, and threatens the patient’s life. According to World Health Organization statistics, coronary heart disease is one of the most common diseases, and causes the death of a large number of patients.

Coronary artery obstruction

The coronary arteries transport oxygen-laden blood to the heart muscle. When there is a deficiency in this blood supply, the heart muscle weakens, and this affects the activity of the entire body. In some cases, the coronary arteries may be completely blocked, which causes a severe heart attack for the patient and presents His life is in danger.

Symptoms of coronary artery obstruction are:

 Symptoms of blockage in the coronary arteries vary according to the severity of the blockage. If the blockage is partial, the symptoms are less severe, while the symptoms of total blockage are severe and dangerous, and require immediate treatment.

Symptoms of blocked coronary arteries are as follows:

  • A blocked coronary artery causes chest pain.
  •  Feeling dizzy and increased sweating.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Feeling cold in the extremities.
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion when exerting physical effort.
  • Feeling pain that may extend to the shoulder, arms and back.
  • Nausea.

There are symptoms that indicate the seriousness of the patient’s condition and require going to the emergency room immediately, such as:

  • Sudden and severe pain in the patient’s back or arm.
  • If the patient feels difficulty speaking or swallowing.
  • Confusion and blurred vision.
  • Fast heartbeat with severe chest pain.

Complications of coronary artery obstruction

Clogged arteries lead to a lack of oxygen and elements needed by the heart muscle, because it prevents sufficient blood from reaching the heart, and serious complications may occur due to this, including:

  • The patient suffers from angina pectoris as a result of blockage of the coronary arteries and thus a decrease in the amount of blood supplying the heart muscle, causing it to lose its ability to perform its functions and pump blood to the rest of the body.
  • Angina pectoris may be stable angina. It is painful but lasts for a maximum of 15 minutes, and disappears when resting and taking medication.
  •  As for unstable angina, it lasts for more than 20 minutes and is more painful, and it can occur during times of rest without exerting effort.
  • A heart attack is also one of the serious complications that can occur in the case of coronary artery disease, as it causes severe chest pain, shortness of breath, and can lead to fainting.

Causes of blockage of the coronary arteries:

There are several reasons for the disease to occur, including:

  • Layers of harmful and saturated fats are deposited on the inner wall, causing narrowing of the arteries that feed the heart.
  • Coronary atherosclerosis and increased thickness of the vessel wall, which affects the diameter of the artery and causes narrowing of the coronary vessels, thus impairing the supply to the heart muscle.
  • Inflammation of the wall of one of the coronary arteries.
  • The occurrence of a clot in the coronary artery, or the clot forms in any other blood vessel and then travels with the blood stream to the coronary artery, thus obstructing the flow of blood through it.

There are factors that increase the risk of coronary artery obstruction, including:

  • Overweight and obesity.
  •  High cholesterol level in the patient.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol are also among the most important factors that increase the possibility of developing clogged arteries.
  •  People with a family history of this type of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure patients.
  • Constant exposure to anxiety, stress, and stress increases the chance of developing coronary artery disease.
  • Increasing age, knowing that males have a higher risk of coronary artery obstruction than women.

Can coronary artery disease be cured?

The treatment protocol varies according to the condition and degree of obstruction, and the treatment options are as follows:

First, drug treatment 

In some early cases of blocked coronary arteries, the doctor may consider the possibility of treating the narrowed artery with medications, in conjunction with some instructions that the patient must adhere to, which are as follows:

  •  Getting rid of obesity and excess weight.
  •  Exercising regularly.
  • The patient completely abstains from smoking and alcoholic beverages.
  • Reducing harmful cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Follow a healthy diet that is low in fat.
  •  Control blood sugar and high blood pressure with medications approved by the doctor.
  • The doctor usually prescribes medications to reduce harmful cholesterol in the body, and medications to increase blood fluidity to prevent clots.

Secondly, treating the blockage with a catheter.

Professor Dr. Muhammad Al-Ghannam confirms that in many cases of obstructive coronary artery disease, the obstruction can be treated by cardiac catheterization, which is a simple and safe procedure that relies on inserting the catheter through the thigh or wrist to reach the coronary artery, and then dealing with the location of the obstruction inside. Coronary artery by one of the following methods:

 Balloon catheterization:

This technique depends on using a catheter to reach the site of the blockage, and then inflating a balloon attached to its tip, which succeeds in expanding the artery and allowing blood to flow through it again.

Bracket installation:

It is a metal mesh that is attached to the tip of the catheter, and at the site of the blockage, that stent is installed, thus supporting the artery from the inside, keeping it open, and allowing blood to flow through it better.

Third, treating blocked coronary arteries with surgical treatment

  •  Treatment of obstruction using minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive surgeries are the safest surgical interventions, as they allow access to the heart and arteries and perform surgical operations through small incisions that do not exceed 5 cm in length, thus ensuring the patient’s faster recovery and return to performing his usual activities within a short period of time after the procedure, contrary to what is known about Open heart surgeries and the long recovery period after them.

Minimally invasive surgeries rely on the use of an endoscope to repair blockages in the coronary artery. The endoscope tube is inserted through a small opening and then directed to the site of the blockage, then removing the blockage and restoring normal blood flow.

  •  Traditional open heart surgeries

 Some advanced cases may not be suitable for treatment with cardiac catheterization or limited surgical intervention to treat blocked coronary arteries, and therefore they undergo open-heart surgery to repair the blockage and restore proper blood flow through the coronary arteries. In some cases, the blockage is severe and the patient needs to replace the blocked part of the artery. With a healthy part of another blood vessel, usually from the foot, it is called coronary artery bypass surgery.

In conclusion, Professor Dr. Muhammad Al-Ghannam, consultant in open-heart surgery and minimally invasive surgery, stresses the importance of conducting examinations and undergoing proper diagnosis in the case of heart disease, because early treatment increases the chances of recovery. He also points out the importance of following healthy diets that are low in fat, and eating foods that… It promotes heart health, because this protects individuals from clogged coronary arteries and heart disease in general.

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