Unstable Angina

What's is it?

Angina (or angina pectoris) is chest pain that is caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle. Your doctor calls this insufficient blood flow "myocardial ischemia."

What are the symptoms?

People with angina pectoris may experience pain in different ways.

Most common symptoms of angina are:

  • Chest pain
  • Feeling of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the chest
  • Increased pain when emotional or anxious
  • Increased pain during exertion
  • Pain in the back, neck, jaw or shoulders
  • Pain in the arms, especially the left arm
  • Pain in the upper abdomen

How is it treated?

Before your chest pain can be treated, your doctors will need to determine its cause. Several tests may be done, including an electrocardiogram (EKG), stress test, or angiogram.

In many cases, chest pain is caused by coronary artery disease. In coronary artery disease, plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries, restricting blood flow to your heart.

When this happens, doctors at Lee Memorial Health System are able to provide several possible treatments.

Medication. Patients with early coronary artery disease may obtain good results from treatment with various medications.

Balloon angioplasty. A thin catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in your leg. It is then threaded up to the blockage. A tiny balloon is then inflated, pushing fatty deposits to the sides of the blood vessel and restoring blood flow to your heart. Lee Memorial Health System also offers laser angioplasty, which breaks down plaque with a laser.

Coronary artery bypass surgery. A stent—a miniature wire-mesh tube—can be used to open up a blocked artery. Stents are placed during a minimally-invasive procedure.

Bypass. In a coronary artery bypass graft, a blood vessel from another part of your body is used to go around, or bypass, a blocked artery that supplies your heart.

What is Lee Memorial Health System's approach?

The Lee Memorial Health System cardiac specialists offer all of the most advanced treatments available for angina pectoris and coronary artery disease.

HealthPark Medical Center is the only hosptial in a five county region that has been recognized as an fully accredited Chest Pain Center, with "door-to-balloon time", (the time from when a patient with a heart attack arrives in the emergency department until that person's coronary artery is re-opened with a balloon catheter), consistently beating the national standard. This level of care greatly increases a patients chance of survival from a heart attack.

Who should I contact?

If you experience sudden or unexplained chest pain, call 911.

Learn more about our emergency heart care.

View this topic in our health encyclopedia.


Treatment & Care

Lee Memorial Health System offers many surgical and medical procedures
for heart and vascular conditions.

Learn More

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