Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute
Cardiologist & Interventional Cardiologist located in The Woodlands, TX
Chest pain isn’t always caused by a heart attack or even a heart condition, but you should still seek emergency treatment. Faster medical attention leads to better outcomes in the event the pain is due to a heart attack. Laura Fernandes, MD, FACC, at Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute in The Woodlands, Texas, determines the source of your chest pain and provides customized treatment for all cardiovascular problems, including follow-up care after a heart attack. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Chest Pain Q & A
What causes chest pain?
Chest pain may arise from problems that originate in other parts of your body. For example, heartburn, pneumonia, strained back muscles, a panic attack, and conditions in your gallbladder and pancreas can cause chest pain.
However, chest pain that begins in your heart commonly develops due to:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Aortic dissection (torn aorta)
- Heart valve disease
- Inflammatory conditions (pericarditis and myocarditis)
A type of chest pain called angina occurs when a cardiovascular problem such as atherosclerosis restricts blood flow to your heart.
What symptoms develop in addition to chest pain?
Chest pain caused by heart disease usually causes additional symptoms. Depending on the underlying problem, you may experience:
- Chest pressure or tightness
- Pain radiating to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders, or arms
- Pain that gets worse when you’re active
- Pain that varies in intensity
- Shortness of breath
- Racing or fluttering heartbeat
- Swollen legs and feet
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have chest pain, call 9-1-1, or your local emergency medical service. If you’re experiencing a heart attack, they can provide immediate medical care and get you to the hospital quickly and safely.
How do cardiologists treat chest pain?
Dr. Fernandes performs an electrocardiogram (EKG) and runs blood work to detect a heart attack. She may perform other diagnostic tests such as an echocardiogram to determine the cause of your chest pain.
Your care depends on the underlying heart condition. As a general guideline, treatment for chest pain includes:
Dr. Fernandes provides comprehensive care that includes improving your heart health through changes in your diet and activity level, smoking cessation, and losing weight.
Dr. Fernandes may prescribe blood thinners and clot busters. You may also need medication to relieve angina, slow down your heartbeat, stabilize an irregular heartbeat, lower your blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, or treat heart failure.
If coronary artery disease caused your heart attack, Dr. Fernandes performs angioplasty and stenting, a minimally invasive endovascular procedure to remove the plaque and restore blood flow. If the plaque is too hard for angioplasty, she does an endarterectomy to shave it away.
Dr. Fernandes may perform other procedures when needed, such as fibrinolytic therapy or implanting a pacemaker.
If you need comprehensive and compassionate care for chest pain, call Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute or book an appointment online today.