Treatment of atherosclerosis

Since atherosclerosis involves a long-winded process during which the walls of the arteries change, it required constant care throughout one’s life, in terms of regulating lifestyle. One must make sure that they are consuming a balanced diet, participating in regular physical activity, etc.

In order to prevent atherosclerosis, it is also necessary to appropriately treat other chronic diseases. It is therefore recommended:

  1. To treat arterial hypertension with antihypertensive drugs
  2. Antilipidemic drugs
  3. Statins
  4. Using medication to reduce risks for forming a blood clot, like aspirin, clepidogrel, etc
  5. Medicating diabetes type 1 or 2 appropriately and regularly
  6. In cases of heart issues, it is important to immediately intervene in order to place a stent or by-pass in order to correct the damaged blood vessel, and facilitate the passage of blood to the heart.

Treatments for atherosclerosis

There aren't currently any treatments that can reverse atherosclerosis, but the healthylifestyle changes suggested above mayhelp stop it getting worse.

Sometimes additional treatment to reduce the risk of problems like heart attacks and strokes may also be recommended, such as:

How is atherosclerosis treated?

Treatment involves changing your current lifestyle to one that limits the amount of fat and cholesterol you consume. You may need to exercise more to improve the health of your heart and blood vessels.

You may also need additional medical treatments, such as:


Medications can help prevent atherosclerosis from worsening.

Medications include:

  • cholesterol-lowering medications, including statins and fibric acid derivatives
  • antiplatelet drugs and anticoagulants, such as aspirin, to prevent blood from clotting and clogging your arteries
  • beta blockers or calcium channel blockers to lower your blood pressure
  • diuretics, or water pills, to help lower your blood pressure
  • angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which help prevent narrowing of your arteries


In some cases, surgery may be necessary if symptoms are especially severe, or if muscle or skin tissue are endangered.

Possible surgeries for treating atherosclerosis include:

  • bypass surgery, which involves using a vessel from somewhere else in your body or a synthetic tube to divert blood around your blocked or narrowed artery
  • thrombolytic therapy, which involves dissolving a blood clot by injecting a drug into your affected artery
  • angioplasty, which involves using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter and a balloon to expand your artery, sometimes inserting a stent to leave the artery open
  • endarterectomy, which involves surgically removing fatty deposits from your artery
  • atherectomy, which involves removing plaque from your arteries by using a catheter with a sharp blade at one end

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 2 Feb 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi