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Atherosclerosis Treatments


An important part of treatment is reducing risk factors. To do so, see the steps in the prevention section below. Beyond that, treatment depends on the area of the body most affected.

Treatment may include:


These include:

Catheter-based Procedures

These procedures involve a thin tube, called a catheter. It is inserted into an artery. They are most often done for arteries in the heart. They may be used to treat atherosclerosis elsewhere in the body as well. These procedures include:

  • Balloon angioplasty —a balloon-tipped catheter is used to press plaque against the walls of the arteries. This increases the amount of space for the blood to flow.
  • Stenting—usually done after angioplasty. A wire mesh tube is placed in a damaged artery. It will support the arterial walls and keep them open.
  • Atherectomy —instruments are inserted via a catheter. They are used to cut away and remove plaque so that blood can flow more easily. This procedure is not done often these days.


Surgical options include:

  • Endarterectomy —removal of the lining of an artery obstructed with large plaques. This is often done in carotid arteries of the neck. These arteries bring blood to the brain.
  • Arterioplasty— repair of an aneurysm . It is usually done with synthetic tissue.
  • Bypass —creation of an alternate route for blood flow. The procedure uses a separate vessel for blood to flow.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2018 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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