Overview of Program
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Coronary Artery Disease program unites general cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, and cardiac surgeons to provide optimal, individualized care for patients with coronary atherosclerosis. The full spectrum of current diagnosis and treatment options is available, using an integrated approach that puts patients first.
Management with medication is combined with cutting-edge methods include coronary ultrasound and pressure wire measurement to accurately grade coronary blockages implantation of resorbable stents; coronary bypass surgery using multiple arterial bypasses; robotic, completely endoscopic coronary bypass grafting; and hybrid coronary interventions.
For robotic and hybrid interventions, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is one of the leading centers worldwide.
What We Treat
The coronary arteries nurture the heart so that it can pump enough blood to the body. High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and smoking can cause narrowing and complete blockage of these arteries by a build-up of plaque that contains lipids, fibrous tissue, and calcium.
This condition is called coronary artery disease. The restricted blood flow leads to a lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscle, and results in cell damage and corresponding chest pain. If the artery is completely blocked, the heart muscle dies and a heart attack occurs. This is a life-threatening situation.
The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi coronary artery disease team treats this disease by medication, catheter interventions, and surgery.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Patients usually come to the outpatient clinic with symptoms of chest pain.The physician investigates for risk factors, such as high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and high blood sugar, and whether the patient is a smoker. After a physical examination, additional tests are ordered as needed. These include ultrasound of the heart, exercise stress test, nuclear imaging of coronary blood flow, and a MRI scan. The final diagnosis of coronary artery disease is established by a catheter investigation. Catheters are brought to the heart from the wrist or the groin, and contrast dye is then injected into the coronary arteries.
Treatment options for coronary artery disease
If the diagnosis is confirmed, therapeutic options are discussed with a multidisciplinary team of physicians, including internal medicine physicians, cardiologists, and surgeons. In many cases, a stent can be placed into blockages immediately. The procedure is carried out using local anesthesia and patients can usually leave the hospital after one day.
If the disease is complex, or if very important vessels of the heart are involved, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG, or heart bypass surgery) is recommended.
Types of coronary bypass surgery
In coronary bypass surgery, some of the blood supply from other arteries is redirected to the coronary arteries after the blockage, so that more blood is directed into the heart muscle. Methods include sewing other arteries within the chest to the coronary artery, or removing a section of vein from the leg and using it to redirect blood from the aorta – the body’s main artery.
The traditional way to perform coronary bypass surgery is through a midline chest incision. If a patient fulfils certain criteria, less-invasive options, which enable early recovery within three to four weeks, can be offered at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is among the world’s leading hospitals for several minimally invasive procedures, including methods of totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass (TECAB) and hybrid coronary interventions.
Robotic and hybrid procedures
Hybrid procedures combine catheter interventions and robotic surgery to reduce invasiveness of the operations. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is among the world’s leading hospitals for several minimally invasive procedures, including methods of TECAB and hybrid coronary interventions.
Coronary artery disease care involves a multi-disciplinary team working in an integrated, patients-first approach. Caregivers involved in patient care for this program are:
- Cardiac surgeons
- Intensive care specialists
- Perfusionists (heart-lung machine specialists)
The team also includes specialized nurses, as well as technicians in the outpatient clinic, the catheter laboratory, the operating room, the intensive care unit, and the regular patient ward. Physiotherapists guide the patient through the rehabilitation process after an intervention or surgery.
Cooperation among this team is of the utmost importance, and is a major strength of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi coronary disease program.