Coronary Artery Disease Specialist

CardioVascular Institute of South Texas

Cardiologists located in Helotes, TX

In the United States, approximately 16.5 million adults have coronary artery disease (CAD), one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. Find out if you’re at risk by visiting the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas in Helotes, Texas. Led by Tzy-Shiuan Kuo, MD, and Imam Tjahja, MD, the team consists of experienced cardiologists and internal medicine specialists offering advanced testing and treatment options for CAD. Call the office or use online booking to schedule a visit today.

Coronary Artery Disease Q & A

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease, also called CAD or coronary heart disease, is a condition in which plaques made up of cholesterol and fat line the walls of the arteries in your heart and reduce the amount of blood flow throughout your heart. This prevents your heart from getting the necessary oxygen and nutrients from your blood that you need for your heart to pump effectively.

What are the signs of coronary artery disease?

Signs and symptoms of CAD vary greatly depending on the amount of plaque that’s built up in your arteries, how much blood flow your heart is getting, and how effectively your heart can work despite the plaque buildup. Some possible signs of CAD include:

  • Chest pain, which can feel like pressure or a squeezing sensation
  • Cold sweats
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Nausea or a feeling of indigestion
  • Neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feelings of anxiety or nervousness

In many cases, patients don’t know they have CAD until they have a stroke or heart attack.

What causes coronary artery disease?

CAD is caused by atherosclerosis, the term for plaque buildup in the arteries. This can be caused by different factors, such as:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Stress

Men and women are both at risk of developing CAD. If you experience any symptoms or have any of the risk factors, it’s best to be screened for CAD at the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas immediately.

How is coronary artery disease diagnosed?

There are a variety of diagnostic tests that the team uses to diagnose CAD if you experience symptoms or have one or more risk factors. Tests you may undergo include:

  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram (echo)
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Stress tests
  • Cardiac CT scan
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Coronary calcium scan
  • Coronary angiography
  • Coronary guidewire sensor technology

Many of these tests can be performed in-office for your convenience. The doctors use the least invasive testing options possible so you can be diagnosed quickly and comfortably.

How is coronary artery disease treated?

For mild to moderate cases of CAD, the team may begin with conservative recommendations, including lifestyle changes or cholesterol-lowering medications. Blood pressure medications may also be beneficial.

If conservative care isn’t enough or your case is more severe, the team offers advanced procedures and surgical options to improve blood flow to your heart.

Set up an exam for CAD today by calling the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas or scheduling an appointment using the online booking feature.