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    Suggest treatment for clogged carotid arteries

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Posted on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: To clean plaque out of carotid arteries, what does "medical therapy" mean. Does this mean if the clogging is below 70%, it can be treated without any surgery?
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Medical therapy includes cholesterol lowering drugs and blood thinners

Detailed Answer:
Hi Seells,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Carotid arteries are important blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Many people develop plaques in the carotid arteries which reduce the blood supply to brain and this can lead to stroke like symptoms. If the plaque gets detached and travels into the arteries in the brain then the patient can have a stroke.

Medical therapy is the use of medications and making therapeutic lifestyle changes to control the plaque formation and make efforts to reduce its size. This usually includes medications like cholesterol lowering drugs and blood thinners. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy heart friendly diet and reducing the consumption of excessive fats and alcohol. Medical therapy works in most people having clogging of carotid arteries.

To avoid complications, any plaques in the carotid arteries needs to be treated if it causes significant blockage. A clogging less than 50 percent might be treated with medications only.

Clogging more than 50 percent requires treatment with medications and minimally invasive methods like coronary angioplasty or stenting. Severe clogging requires a surgical procedure called endarterectomy in which the clogging plaque is removed surgically by making a slit in the wall of the carotid artery in the neck region and after plaque removal the walls of the artery are stitched together with normal restoration of blood flow.

Medical therapy is indicated in patients who might not be ideal candidates for surgery due to advanced age or anesthesia limitations.

The choice of treatment depends on the amount of clogging and general condition and fitness of the patient for surgical procedures.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6710 Questions

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