There is no cure for coronary heart disease. However, if you have coronary heart disease, there are a range of treatments your doctor might recommend to reduce your risk of future heart problems, and relieve or manage symptoms.
There is now a wide range of medicines to treat coronary heart disease and its risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high total blood cholesterol levels. Common medicines (or classes of medicines) include:
- anti-anginal medications (nitrates)
- ACE inhibitors
Taking these medicines as prescribed can greatly reduce your risk of further heart problems.
Remember, most medicines will need to be taken for the long term.
See the Heart Foundation (external site) or the National Prescribing Service (external site) for more information different types of medicines.
Angioplasty and stent implantation
During coronary angioplasty, a small balloon is inflated inside one or more of your coronary arteries to open up an area of your arteries that has become very narrow. This will improve blood flow to your heart.
After angioplasty is performed, a special expandable metal tube (a stent) is usually put into your artery, expanded, and left in place to keep your artery open.
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (often shortened to CABG and pronounced cabbage) is an operation in which a blood vessel is taken from your chest, leg or forearm and grafted to your coronary artery to let blood detour past a narrowing in this artery. This improves blood flow to your heart muscle and reduces angina.
Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD)
An ICD is a small device that can be put into your chest and connected to your heart to monitor and correct your heartbeat.
It can either stop an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) by pacing your heart, or in more serious situations, it can give your heart a controlled electric shock to try to return it to its normal rhythm.
ICDs can also support your heartbeat like a pacemaker if it is beating very slowly, and collect and store information about your heart's electrical activity for your doctor to check.
See the Heart Foundation (external site) for more information on ICDs.