Can CAD patient live a normal life?

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: Coronary artery disease (CAD) affects many people worldwide. This disease occurs due to the blockage or narrowing of vessels responsible for supplying blood to the heart, depriving the heart muscle of necessary oxygen and other nutrients that the heart benefits from due to blood flow.

To treat CAD, cardiologists use different methods depending on the case. However, people suffering from this disease may panic about the possibility of living a normal life ever again. To better understand the risk factors, treatments and the possibility of living a normal and healthy life with CAD, Kuwait Times interviewed cardiologist Dr Abdullah Esmaiel.

Dr. Abdullah Esmaiel

Kuwait Times: Can patients live a normal life with coronary artery disease?

Dr Esmaiel: Yes, in most cases. The most important aspect of having a normal life is early detection and treatment of the disease, along with medication and lifestyle changes.

Kuwait Times: Can the patient stop taking medications?

Dr Esmaiel: No, the patient cannot abandon medication. Medication is essential and cannot be discontinued. The idea, however, is that the person can lead a normal life in terms of their ability to work, engage in physical activity, travel, get married and other practical matters. But they need to continue taking the prescribed medications for their health condition.

Kuwait Times: When do patients need coronary artery bypass ‘open heart’ surgery?

Dr Esmaiel: Most cases of coronary artery disease can be treated with stent placement and medications. ‘Open heart surgery’ is only needed for selected cases. It is used to treat patients with multiple ‘blocked arteries’, where medication and stents are insufficient. It works by creating a new path for blood to flow to the heart. A healthy blood vessel from another part of the body is used to redirect blood around a blocked area of an artery.

Kuwait Times: What are the treatment options?

Dr Esmaiel: Treatment for coronary artery disease usually involves lifestyle changes (such as not smoking, eating healthy, exercising and managing stress) and medications, while sometimes procedures are needed. The medications are mainly to thin the blood (eg, aspirin), reduce cholesterol and control the heart rate and blood pressure. There are procedures to treat coronary artery disease like coronary artery stent placement or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Kuwait Times: What are the risk factors of developing CAD?

Dr Esmaiel: A buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis) is the most common cause of coronary artery disease. This is most commonly caused by multiple risk factors, such as diabetes (high blood sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise and obesity, psychological stress, age and family history of coronary artery disease.

The post Can CAD patient live a normal life? appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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