Heart Center

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) causes a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle. When fatty substances called plaque are deposited in the inner lining of an artery, the artery is narrowed, restricting or blocking blood flow. The rupture of this plaque can cause a heart attack and subsequent chest pain.

CAD Diagnostic Services

After you have described your symptoms and your physician has performed a physical examination, any one of several diagnostic tests may be used to diagnose and determine the severity of the coronary artery disease or heart attack and your current heart health. These diagnostic procedures may include an electrocardiogram, an exercise stress test, or cardiac catheterization.


Open-heart surgery is not the only treatment available for coronary artery disease. In fact, it is usually the last course of action after a period of medical treatment. Mission Hospital offers the latest drug regimens as well as a full range of cardiac interventional therapies, including cardiac catheterization, balloon angioplasty, balloon valvuloplasty, laser, cutting balloon and stents. Click here for more information on heart diagnostic and treatment procedures.


Coronary artery bypass, sometimes referred to as CABG, is an operation performed to improve the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. This procedure creates a new path through which blood can flow freely. During surgery, blood is rerouted around clogged arteries using blood vessels taken from other parts of the body such as the leg and chest wall.

The surgery programs at Mission Hospital offer a complete range of surgical procedures, including coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair and replacement, pacemaker implantation, corrective and palliative congenital heart surgery, repair of aortic and ventricular aneurysms, and more.

Are You at Risk for Coronary Artery Disease?

The more risk factors a person has for CAD, the more likely it is that the person will develop heart problems or have a heart attack.

Risk factors for CAD include:

  • Being a man older than age 35
  • Being a woman who has gone through menopause
  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Having diabetes
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Being physically inactive

Risk factors for a heart attack also include the use of cocaine and amphetamines.