Angina, commonly called chest pain, is a serious indicator that you have a cardiovascular condition and need medical attention right away. Pankaj Lal, MD, is a board-certified internist and cardiologist who diagnoses and treats angina and its underlying causes at Capital Cardiac Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. If you live in Montgomery County, call or book an appointment online today for expert cardiac care.

request an appointment

What is angina?

When your heart doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood, it causes pain in your chest. This pain is known as angina. It can also feel like pressure or a squeezing sensation in your chest, or even like indigestion. You might also experience angina in your shoulders, neck, back, or arms.

Angina isn’t a cardiac condition in itself, but rather is a symptom of a cardiovascular or heart condition such as coronary heart disease, ischemia, or coronary microvascular disease. If you experience chest pain, you need to seek immediate medical attention. You can call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Lal online. In fact, you can make appointments for the same day or the next day. If your chest pain is severe and you are having trouble breathing, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

How is angina diagnosed?

Dr. Lal offers comprehensive diagnostic exams and testing to identify the condition causing your chest pain. During your exam, he’ll talk to you about your pain while checking your blood pressure and listening to your heart. He typically orders some blood tests to check for enzymes produced when your heart is damaged, as well as your cholesterol and glucose levels.

In addition to the exam, Dr. Lal schedules diagnostic imaging services and further testing to gather more information about the state of your heart and cardiovascular system. These tests include:

  • Electrocardiograms (EKGs) to record the electrical impulses that trigger your heartbeat
  • Echocardiograms, which are like ultrasounds for your heart and cardiovascular system, showing damaged tissue or poor blood flow
  • Stress tests that make your cardiovascular system work harder, which can make it easier to identify symptoms with EKGs and blood pressure monitoring
  • Cardiac CT scans and MRIs to create a detailed image of your heart and blood vessels

How is angina treated?

Treatment for angina varies depending on the condition causing your chest pain. Treatment for angina and other cardiac issues is also highly customized to address your specific symptoms and needs.

Dr. Lal offers detailed counseling to help you improve your cardiac health through lifestyle changes like adjusting your diet and adding regular exercise. Dr. Lal can also prescribe medications to help control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, or to relieve chest pain. If necessary, Dr. Lal can perform medical procedures to open clogged arteries and repair damaged tissue.

If you need an expert cardiologist, call or book an appointment online today to meet with Dr. Lal.