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How is arterial plaque treated?

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Quick Answer

Depending on its severity, arterial plaque can be treated by healthy lifestyle changes, drugs or blood thinners, according to WebMD. Some more serious cases of arterial plaque may require surgical treatment, such as stent placement, bypass surgery or a balloon angioplasty.

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Full Answer

Most mild cases of arterial plaque can be treated with healthy lifestyle changes, according to WebMD. This includes eating a diet low in fat and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising and not smoking. In addition to proper management of stress levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, these changes can treat arterial plaque and prevent it from returning.

Some doctors may prescribe prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs or medications that lower blood pressure in addition to recommending healthy lifestyle changes, according to WebMD. A doctor may also recommend taking aspirin daily as a gentle blood-thinner to reduce blood clot formation.

Patients with serious arterial plaque accumulation may require one of three types of surgeries if other less-invasive approaches do not work, according to WebMD. Stent placement uses a metal tube to maintain adequate blood flow in the arteries. Bypass surgery involves moving other arteries from around the body to bypass the clogged arteries and help blood reach its final destination. A balloon angioplasty helps open clogged arteries that are partially or entirely blocked.

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