Heart Disease Specialist

Cardiovascular Care Center

Shahrzad Shareghi, MD

Interventional Cardiologist located in Simi Valley, CA & Thousand Oaks, CA

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year. For people in and around Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, California who are living with heart disease, Dr. Shahrzad Shareghi at Cardiovascular Care Center is a valued resource. Her experience and skill, combined with a commitment to individualized care, is part of why so many men and women wouldn’t consider entrusting anyone else with their cardiovascular care. If you’re ready to make your heart health a priority, schedule an appointment today by calling the office or using the simple online scheduling tool.

Heart Disease

What is heart disease?

Heart disease, the most common among several types of cardiovascular disease, affects the blood vessels of your heart. There’s no “cure” for heart disease, so once your blood vessels are weakened, they’ll remain compromised.  

If you have heart disease, you also have an elevated risk of heart attack. A heart attack sets in when a blood clot interferes with the normal flow of blood to your heart. If no blood gets to your heart at all, some of the muscle tissue in your heart begins to die.

Heart attacks usually occur due to atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up on your arterial walls. As the plaque accumulates, your arteries narrow, making it harder for blood to pass through.

If you notice symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweats, or upper body pain, seek medical care right away, as these are all signs of heart attack.

What’s the difference between angioplasty and atherectomy?

Both of these treatment options help to widen narrowed arteries and improve blood flow to your heart. The difference is in how the arteries are opened.

Angioplasty

This procedure uses a catheter and a specialized X-ray to access the clogged artery. An expandable balloon is gently inflated, compressing the arterial plaque and widening the artery. A wire mesh stent can be inserted to help keep the artery open.

Atherectomy

This procedure also uses a catheter and X-ray imaging to access the targeted artery. A special tool with minuscule rotating blades removes plaque from your arterial walls. Angioplasty and/or stenting is sometimes performed immediately after an atherectomy.

What are stents and how do they work?

Stents are very small mesh tubes that are surgically placed inside weakened arteries. They reinforce arterial walls, promoting improved blood flow and reducing the risk of blockage.

Some stents are made of fabric, but most are made of metal. Some types of stents are impregnated with medication that is slowly released into your bloodstream.

Stents are put into position during angioplasty. The collapsed stent is threaded over a deflated medical balloon.

A catheter moves the assembly to the proper position, then the balloon is carefully inflated, expanding the stent against your arterial walls. Over time, your arterial cells grow over the stent material, creating a surface much like your natural arterial walls.

To learn more about these and other heart health treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shareghi today.