Bypass surgery and angioplasty are two surgical treatments for blocked arteries, but in less severe cases of arterial blockage, drugs and lifestyle changes are sufficient, notes Mayo Clinic. People who make the lifestyle changes before experiencing blockage can prevent them from happening at all.
Bypass surgery involves the creation of a graft using a blood vessel from elsewhere in the body to route blood around blocked coronary arteries, notes Mayo Clinic. This requires open-heart surgery, which is why it is generally used only when more than one artery is blocked. Angioplasty involves the use of a balloon to push plaque deposits against the artery walls to cut down the blockage. The balloon is often followed by a stent to keep the artery from narrowing again.