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Chest Pain Specialist

Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue

Cardiologists located in East Harlem, New York, NY

If you get chest pain, it could be because you ate too much spicy food and gave yourself heartburn, or it could be something more serious. Henock Saint-Jacques, MD, FACC, is a highly experienced heart specialist at Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue in New York City who can diagnose and treat chest pain, relieving your symptoms and addressing the root cause of your problem. Call the East Harlem office or book an appointment online today for chest pain relief.

Chest Pain Q & A

Why am I experiencing chest pain?

There are a number of diverse causes of chest pain, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Gallstones
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injured ribs
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE)
  • Collapsed lung
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Panic attacks

Without diagnosis from a specialist like Dr. Saint-Jacques, you can’t be sure what’s causing your chest pain, and be sure to tell him your symptoms as they may indicate a possible cause.

What are the symptoms of chest pain?

If you experience chest pain, you probably worry about whether it’s heart-related. Chest pain is a classic symptom of conditions such as heart attack. In addition to pain, you’re also likely to experience shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of pressure or tightness in your chest if you have a heart attack.

Digestive problems such as heartburn can also cause chest pain. In this case, it’s usually due to acid reflux from the stomach, which burns the lining of your esophagus and causes the typical pain of heartburn and indigestion.

Problems with the lungs can also cause chest pain — for example, pneumonia or pleurisy. If your lungs are affected, you’re likely to be experiencing problems breathing and should seek medical attention.

How is chest pain diagnosed?

The priority when you have chest pain is to find out whether it’s due to a life-threatening problem such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. Initial tests to check for emergency causes of chest pain include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan

If tests highlight a serious problem it can be treated swiftly, increasing your chance of survival and minimizing aftereffects.

You may need other tests if the initial diagnostics don’t reveal a cause for your chest pain. Potential tests Dr. Saint-Jacques may use include an echocardiogram, CT coronary angiogram, stress tests, or a coronary catheterization (angiogram).

How is chest pain treated?

Your potential treatment for chest pain depends on the cause but may include medications such as:

  • Artery relaxer nitroglycerine
  • Aspirin
  • Thrombolytic clot-busting drugs
  • Blood thinners such as heparin
  • Acid-suppressing medications
  • Antidepressants

External counterpulsation therapy (ECP or EECP) is a noninvasive way of helping blood vessels bypass blocked arteries and restore blood flow.

You may need surgery for more serious causes of chest pain. Dr. Saint-Jacques may recommend procedures such as:

  • Angioplasty and stent placement
  • Coronary artery graft bypass surgery (CAGB)
  • Dissection repair
  • Lung reinflation

There are many possible reasons why you may have chest pain, most of which aren’t a cause for alarm. However, because some of the causes of chest pain are potentially life-threatening, you should always seek medical advice if you have pain in your chest.

Call Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue or book an appointment online today.