A doctor can check for blocked arteries by doing tests like cholesterol screening, chest X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound or echocardiograms, according to WebMD. Electrocardiograms, MRIs, PET scans and angiograms are also common tests. The doctor selects which tests to perform based on the patient's symptoms and medical history.
If a patient has blocked arteries, treatment methods include lifestyle changes, surgery and medication, states WebMD. Doctors recommend a diet that is low in fat, sugar, simple carbohydrates and cholesterol and high in vegetables and fruits. Maintaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking, regularly exercising and managing stress are also recommended.
Surgery for blocked arteries may be necessary, and doctors may try a stent placement, bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty, explains WebMD. A stent may contain medication, and a doctor places the small tube into an artery to maintain blood flow. Bypass surgery creates a path around clogged arteries, helping the blood reach its destination. A balloon angioplasty opens clogged arteries and improves blood flow.
Doctors may also treat blocked arteries with medication, claims WebMD. People may take drugs that lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and aspirin or blood thinners are often recommended. These medications reduce the chances of a dangerous blood clot.