Angina Overview

Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood. It typically feels like a tight, squeezing pressure in the chest, although it can also occur in the shoulders, arms, back, neck, or jaw. In some cases, it can be difficult to determine where the pain is coming from, and some individuals have a hard time distinguishing it from indigestion.

Angina can be classified as either stable (present only after a specific and predictable trigger, such as stress or exercise) or unstable (occurring randomly and without a specific cause). When it is stable, the condition is not life-threatening, although it does indicate the presence of serious issues that could lead to a heart attack or stroke if left untreated. In contrast, unstable angina is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

At Tampa General Hospital, we provide comprehensive treatment for a wide range of heart and vascular conditions, including stable and unstable angina. Our experienced team of cardiologists, surgeons, and cardiac care nurses specialize in providing:

  • Critical care for unstable angina, heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac emergencies in our level 1 trauma center
  • Long-term management plans for stable angina, including diagnostic services to pinpoint the underlying cause and any potential triggers as well as preventive surgery to help reduce the likelihood of future cardiac events

Our extensive range of treatments, including medication therapy, surgical angioplasty/stenting, and other emergency interventions, has led Tampa General to be named one of U.S News & World Report’s best hospitals for cardiology and heart surgery. Also contributing to this designation are our better-than-expected patient outcomes, high nurse-to-patient ratios, and significant patient volume.

If you are experiencing sudden chest pain that was not caused by a known trigger or feels more severe than past stable angina episodes, call 9-1-1 immediately. To be referred to a specialist with Tampa General Hospital, please visit our online PhysicianFinder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).