Chest pain is a typical symptom of heart problems, but it could also be due to several less serious conditions. If you have chest pain, find out what's causing it by visiting board-certified cardiologist Georges Feghali, MD, at HeartPlace. At locations in Dallas and Corsicana, Texas, Dr. Feghali provides expert diagnosis and treatment for heart-related chest pain, or angina. Call his office today or book an appointment online.
Chest pain is frequently due to problems like heartburn (acid reflux), an infection in the lungs, or damaged muscle tissues. It can also develop during periods of extreme anxiety, mimicking the symptoms of a heart attack.
The cause of chest pain that most concerns people is heart problems. As heart conditions can be life-threatening, it's wise to consult Dr. Feghali if you have any unexplained chest pain.
Heart-related chest pain is known as angina, which isn't a specific disorder but indicates an underlying heart condition.
Angina attacks happen because your heart muscle isn't getting enough oxygen. The lack of oxygen causes a feeling of compression and pain in your chest that may spread into your arms, shoulders, neck, back, and jaw.
The most likely cause of angina is coronary artery disease (CAD). This common form of heart disease develops when the arteries feeding your heart get clogged with a sticky substance called plaque, which consists mainly of cholesterol.
To diagnose the cause of your chest pain, Dr. Feghali asks you about your symptoms and lifestyle and looks over your medical and family history. He performs a physical exam, listening to your heart and lungs through a stethoscope, and measures your blood pressure.
You need to provide a blood sample to measure your cholesterol levels and undergo an electrocardiogram (EKG). The EKG is a painless, noninvasive test that records the electrical activity in your heart.
Depending on what he finds, Dr. Feghali may need to run other tests, such as:
These tests can identify heart problems that might not be apparent during a standard EKG.
The treatment Dr. Feghali recommends for your chest pain varies according to the underlying cause. In most cases, patients need to make diet and lifestyle changes like getting more exercise, losing weight, cutting down on unhealthy fats, and quitting smoking.
Other potential treatments for chest pain include:
For patients with severe narrowing of the arteries, Dr. Feghali can perform balloon angioplasty and stenting. This minimally invasive procedure uses cardiac catheterization — a nonsurgical technique that flattens the plaque inside the arteries so blood flows more freely.
If you're experiencing chest pain, get a prompt diagnosis and any treatment you need by calling HeartPlace today, or booking an appointment online.