Cardiovascular Services

Coronary Artery Disease | CAD

MaineHealth heart specialists provide complete care for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). If you have, or are at risk of developing, coronary artery disease, talk to your primary care provider about a referral to MaineHealth.

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is the most commonly diagnosed heart disease in the U.S.  It also is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S. CAD comes from plaque buildup inside the arteries that send oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Artery walls can narrow over time from plaque, or the buildup of fatty material. That makes it harder for blood to flow. Plaque buildup is serious. It can block or partly block the blood supply to your heart.

Symptoms of CAD

Angina is the most common symptom of CAD. Angina is chest pain or discomfort from the heart not getting enough blood. It’s important to call your doctor and get a checkup, if you are having chest pain or think you may be having angina. Coronary artery disease weakens the heart and can lead to other serious heart problems:

Diagnosing CAD

Make an appointment with your primary care doctor or family health care provider, if you want to find out your risks of CAD or think you may have coronary artery disease.

Your doctor may take your blood pressure, and order tests to check your cholesterol and sugar levels. Your doctor also will check for other signs that put people at risk of CAD:

  • Being overweight

  • Not getting enough exercise

  • Smoking tobacco

  • Unhealthy eating

  • Family history of heart disease

Depending on the test results, your health care provider may order several screening tests and / or refer you to a heart specialist. Those screening tests include:

Treatment for coronary artery disease

  • Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and having a heart-healthy diet

  • Medication

  • Stent placement

  • Angioplasty

  • Heart surgery

Next Steps for Patients

While some patients are candidates for self-referral to our cardiovascular specialists, we recommend that you ask your primary care physician for help with the process.

Provider Referrals

If you are a provider who would like to refer a patient to for MaineHealth coronary services, please review our clinical guidelines and call 207-885-9905.