Atherosclerosis is an important cause of "cardiovascular disease”, which includes heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease. Treatment of atherosclerosis aims to:
Treatment of atherosclerosis includes:
Lifestyle Changes: This is an important part of any atherosclerosis treatment plan. Some people may only need to introduce life style changes to manage atherosclerosis, but even those being treated with medicines, medical procedure or surgery, this should be an integral part of the treatment plan. Lifestyle changes can also help to prevent atherosclerosis.
Certain medicines can help to slow the progress of plaque build-up in your arteries. You may be given medicines to manage other related problems such as high cholesterol levels or blood pressure. Some people may be given medicines to prevent blood clots from forming to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Taking all medicines as recommended by your doctor is essential to prevent complications and death related to atherosclerosis.
Medical Procedures and Surgery
People with severe atherosclerosis may need a medical procedure or surgery in addition to medicines and lifestyle changes. Procedures done to open arteries clogged or blocked due to plaque include:
Angioplasty: It is a procedure done to open narrow or blocked arteries. The procedure done to open blocked coronary (heart) arteries is known as coronary angioplasty.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG): CABG is a surgical procedure done to restore blood flow to heart muscles. In this procedure, a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected or grafted to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein improves blood flow to the heart by bypassing the blocked portion of the coronary artery. The surgery can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain and possibly prevent a heart attack.
Carotid endarterectomy: This surgery involves removal of plaque build-up from the carotid arteries in the neck. This procedure can help to improve blood flow to the brain and prevent a stroke.
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