Current Advancements in Managing Angina

man holding chest in painWe’ve come a long way. Healthcare is not the same as it used to be. Every decade we see major strides in treatment because of research, technology or new procedures.

For those who suffer from angina (or “heart pain”) we thought we would highlight a few of the most current advancements for this condition. Because angina is a symptom of the increasingly common heart disease, chances are you or someone you know may benefit from these advancements.

Angina is uncomfortable. When your heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood, pressure or squeezing pain begins to flood your chest, back, arms or neck. You may dismiss it as indigestion or pinched nerves, but it may be a sign of angina, especially if you feel these symptoms during exercise or stress.

Recent Advancements for Angina

Working with heart patients at Scott & White for over a decade, Dr. John P. Erwin III mentioned a number of recent advancements for angina:

1. Improved medications
  • Aspirin, thienopyridines, nitrates, b-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and statins
  • Ranolazine is a newer medication that is increasingly used for “intractable angina” that has not been relieved by other therapies
2. Better medical decision making for patients with angina
3. Marked progress in stent/surgical and other non-invasive technologies
  • Erwin said coronary stents and bypass surgery are tremendously effective to relieve angina in people not getting relief from medications
  • Therapies such as EECP (enhanced extra corporal counter pulsation) are also available at advanced centers such as Scott & White
4. Patients are more frequently able to get back to the activities that they enjoy with little or no angina

Erwin said seeing these advancements have been very rewarding to him as a doctor as he tries to help people live the longest and best quality of life possible.

“It’s been a tremendous journey with marvelous advancements in the treatment and prevention of heart disease,” he said. “The relationships that I’ve developed with my patients going through stressful times have been a blessing.”

Future Improvements

For those dedicated to treating heart disease, there is still progress to be made. Erwin hopes to see even more advances in the non-surgical and less invasive approaches to improvement in quality of life.  He added, “Equally important, I hope to see great further strides in the prevention of the problem developing in the first place.”

For more information about angina studies or advancements, visit our collection of news in our health library.

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