Chest pain can be caused by physical issues like heart disease or infection and psychological issues like chronic stress. Chest pain should be taken seriously as pain in the heart or lungs can critical and even life-threatening illness. A doctor should be consulted when any type of chest pain occurs to determine the cause and to schedule appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Chest pain can be caused by a variety of conditions. Coronary heart disease is a blockage in the heart or the heart blood vessels, reducing blood flow. This causes a chest pain known as angina, and can also be felt in the arm, shoulder, jaw, or back. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction also causes chest pain, usually more severe than angina, and felt in the center or left center of the chest. Some patients may experience chest pain due to inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis. Other conditions which can cause chest pain include pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac around the heart, thickened heart muscles or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or mitral valve prolapse, a condition where the valves in the heart do not close properly. Chest pain should always be taken seriously and reported to the doctor, even if it resolves quickly.
Dr. Jayasundera will treat complaints of chest pain seriously and investigate the root cause thoroughly. He will begin with a physical exam and a complete medical history to look for risk factors for heart disease and other problems that can cause chest pain. The doctor may order diagnostic imaging tests like x-rays or ultrasounds to evaluate the structure and function of the heart. Blood tests may be used directly following an episode of chest pain to look for chemicals and enzymes released during a heart attack. A minimally-invasive procedure called catheterization may also be performed to look inside the arteries and look for blockages.
Treatment will depend on the cause of the pain. Some types of pain can be treated with medication, while other causes may require surgery, including minimally-invasive options.