What are the non-surgical options for 100% heart blockage on one side of heart?

Uncertain in ky asked...

When you have 100% heart blockage on the right side and 80% blockage on the left side and they tell you that surgery won't work, what is the next step?

Expert Answer

James Frank is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the V.A. Medical Center in San Francisco.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage coronary artery disease besides surgery. People who have limited coronary artery disease without heart failure probably don't benefit from surgery, and people who have diffuse coronary artery disease that's spread throughout the vessels can't benefit from surgery because there's nothing to bypass. But people who aren't candidates for surgery can still benefit tremendously either from just medical therapy or from interventions like angioplasty and stenting, depending on the location of the blockage. But even if an angioplasty isn't indicated, medical therapy can help patients manage symptoms and prevent a heart attack. So there are lots of things that can be done, and a cardiologist will be able to help manage it. The person who has the blockage should talk to her doctor about available options.