Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused by plaque build up or atherosclerosis causing restricted blood flow to the heart. The American Heart Association estimates that over 16 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease--the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Our team of experts uses the latest in disease prevention, diagnostics and leading edge therapies to keep you heart healthy.

Conditions Often Emergent May Include:

  • Angina or Chest Pain
  • Heart Attack
  • Ischemia or Restriction of Blood Supply


Nebraska Medicine offers a variety of procedures to treat Coronary Artery Disease, including:

  • Medication and Monitoring

  • Lifestyle Improvements and Risk Factor Reduction

  • Off-pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting - This surgery differs from traditional coronary artery bypass surgery because the heart-lung machine is not used. New surgery equipment allows the surgeon to stabilize portions of the heart during surgery so the blocked artery can be bypassed safely and effectively without stopping the heart and connecting it to a heart-lung machine

  • Minimal-invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) - This procedure allows the surgeon to make several small incisions to access the heart and arteries rather than a large incision typical of traditional  coronary artery bypass surgery. It is performed while the heart is still beating so you will not need to be connected to a heart-lung machine

  • Traditional (on-pump) Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting - This surgical procedure involves making a large incision in the chest to access the heart and arteries. The surgeon must then stop the heart and connect it to a heart-lung machine which takes over the work of the heart and lungs during the surgery

  • Complex Hybrid Coronary Revascularization - This procedure restores blood flow to blocked arteries by combining surgical and catheter-based techniques. It is typically performed using interventional procedures like balloon angioplasty to insert stents in the arteries to bypass or open the blocked arteries

  • Coronary Stenting or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) - This is a catheter-based procedure that allows blockages in the heart arteries to be opened in a minimally invasive way. Small specialized catheters and wires are advanced through the artery in the arm or leg directly to the arteries of the heart. The blockages are ballooned open and stents left in place to keep the artery open. Stenting has now become the most widely used therapy for patients who have heart attacks, and those who suffer from chronic angina or chest pain from the heart

  • CHIP Stenting Program - Quite a number of patients who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease requiring bypass surgery or stenting are unfortunately turned down for both (deemed too high risk). To address this growing population of patients, UNMC has set up a high risk - or Complete Higher Risk indicated Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (CHIP) - stenting program. This program allows patients who are older, have a history of prior heart surgery, those with heart failure, and /or have suffered a prior stroke to be treated when they may have been refused these therapies in the past. Our interventional cardiology team has extensive experience in these advanced techniques. In addition, they are experts in using specialized equipment, such as left ventricular assist devices, allowing us to safely take care of our patients who find themselves in these difficult situations. We can treat a variety of these blockages, including those that are very calcified and requiring atherectomy (drilling technique), complex bifurcations (at branch points), left main (major blood vessel supplying the heart) and chronic total occlusions (CTO) lesions

Patient Guides

Accreditations and Awards

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons 3 Star Rating

As a national leader in health care transparency and accountability, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons believes that the public has a right to know the quality of surgical outcomes. 

To further this goal, the Society has established the STS Public Reporting initiative, which allows participants in the STS National Database to voluntarily report their surgical outcomes to the public on the STS website, the Consumer Reports website, or both. 

The first public reporting scores and ratings were published in September 2010 on isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery data that were included in the ACSD. Since then, the initiative has grown to include isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR) and combined AVR and CABG (AVR+CABG) from the ACSD, observed-to-expected operative mortality ratios for procedures in the CHSD, and lobectomy procedures in the GTSD.

Using this information, consumers can see how participating cardiac surgical groups compare with national benchmarks for overall performance, survival, complications, and other measures. Nebraska Medicine is proud to achieve a 3 Star rating for cardiac surgery.

Society of Thoracic Surgeons badge