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What steps to take to lessen plaque in arteries and lower chances of embolism and heart attack?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 681 Questions
I am a 73 year old man and I am taking 80 mgs of lipitor, 5 mgs of bisoprolol, and 5 mgs of altace ramipril as well as a daily aspirin of 81 mgs. The reason for these medications if that I had a triple AAA and it was repaired 5 years ago. I also learned at that time that I had a silent heart attack with apparent minimal damage to the heart. At this time I have learned that I have now 4-5 very small aneurysims. Two behind my knees and 2-3 in the Illiac arteries in the pelvic region.

I am trying to determine what additional steps I might take to lessen the plaque in my arteries and or of course lower my chances for a future embolysim and heart attack. Wondering if the XXXXXXX XXXXXXX diet could help and or other possible remedies. Thanks, XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Follow-up: What steps to take to lessen plaque in arteries and lower chances of embolism and heart attack? 8 minutes later
Whups forgot to mention that I have a planned visit to a Vascular surgeon in my region next spring at which time I will have a CAT scan and discussion of the results for further direction. (Surgery, open heart? or Stents?)
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 23 hours later

Thank you for posting your query.

I understand your concern.

First of all I would like to mention the treatment options for peripheral arterial aneurysms.

For leg artery aneurysms, surgical repair is often elective as the complications such as rupture or embolism are rare. It is indicated when the arteries are twice normal size or when the patient is symptomatic. The affected segment of artery is excised and replaced with a graft.

I advice you to go ahead with your planned consultation with the vascular surgeon to decide regarding the treatment options.

Now coming to your questions regarding the additional steps to reduce the plaque size in the arteries.

1. You are already on treatment to reduce the plaque formation, and your medications are in fact more than adequate.

2. You can definitely make changes in your diet, if not following a strict fat and sugar less diet already.

3. The diet specific for you could best be designed by a dietitian or a nutritionist. Basically the diet should be able to provide you adequate calories. It should be XXXXXXX in proteins and minimal fats/cholesterol. Avoid red meat. Eat plenty of fresh fruits.

4. Stop smoking.

5. Regular exercises (In consultation with your treating physician/Cardiologist) -- Exercise at least 45 minutes a day and minimum of 5 days a week. Start with brisk walking, gradually increase the pace and the duration. Every week by about 200 meters. Your target should be to reach 5 Kilometers by the end of 6 months to 1 year.

You can also play an out door game, you can play badminton or any such game.

Regarding XXXXXXX Clinton's diet, I'm sorry I could not find the exact diet plan which was followed by him, in general what I could gather was that he followed a healthy diet plan, which was well planned to give him adequate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

If you sit with a dietitian and plan a diet, I'm sure it will be as good as Mr. Clinton's plan.

Hope I have answered all your queries. Please write back to me if you have further queries.

Wishing you good health.


Dr. Yogesh. D
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What steps to take to lessen plaque in arteries and lower chances of embolism and heart attack? 24 minutes later
Thank you. I have just one follow-up question and that is, Could you comment on the pelvic aneurysims? That is can these be treated with stents on a local aneasthetic basis?, Or, is the best course open heart surgery? How does the surgeon determine the best course of action? That's it...Thanks again. XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 1 hour later

Thank you for writing back.

Pelvic aneurysms is a very broad category. The treatment option would depend on the particular vessel/artery involved, type of the aneurysm and its size.

There are very rare types of aneurysms which involve the XXXXXXX iliac artery which have a higher rate of rupture.

If the aneurysm is arising from a small artery, the treatment would be aiming at closing that artery by therapeutic embolisation.

If the affected vessel is a medium sized one or bigger one, then the treatment option would change.

In lower limb aneurysm repair, the artery is which is affected is opened and repaired locally.

Open heart surgery is ""only for aneurysms involving the chambers of the "HEART"".

Choice of anesthesia will depend again on the artery involved and the surgeon and the intended type of surgery.

The surgeon decides the best course of action based on the many characteristics of the aneurysm which I have mentioned earlier, like its location, Artery affected, Size, etc,.

Regarding the stents, Again it depends on the artery involved. If the artery is big, the aneurysmal part is cut and removed and is replaced by a synthetic stent.

Wishing you good health.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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