So which angina treatment is better — angioplasty and stenting or medications?

Your medical condition will determine whether having angioplasty and stenting or taking medications will work better for you. Talk to your doctor about which angina treatment is best for your situation. Consider this:

  • People who have angioplasty and stenting first may feel better quicker. For example, their chest pain may decrease quicker than those who just take medication. However, some studies suggest that after a few years those who only take medication may have the same level of pain relief (less chest pain) as those who had angioplasty and stenting.
  • People who take only medications for angina may not feel better as quickly, but medications require no recovery time and are less expensive than angioplasty and stenting. If you choose to take medications to treat your angina, it's important that you take them exactly as your doctor says so that you get the most benefit.

What if your angina treatment doesn't work?

If you try medication and lifestyle changes first, but they don't relieve your angina, angioplasty and stents may be another option. It might be reasonable to try more-conservative steps first — medication and lifestyle therapy — before considering a stent. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned that medications or stents aren't controlling your angina. Remember that with either treatment plan, lifestyle changes are important.

May. 03, 2013 See more In-depth