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How to Remove Plaque From Neck Blood Vessels

2012-11-18   Views:6

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The main blood vessels of the neck affected by plaque are the two large vessels on either side of the throat known as the carotid arteries. Arterial plaque in the carotid arteries is dangerous because it narrows the arteries, thus reducing the blood

How to Remove Plaque From Neck Blood Vessels

The main blood vessels of the neck affected by plaque are the two large vessels on either side of the throat known as the carotid arteries. Arterial plaque in the carotid arteries is dangerous because it narrows the arteries, thus reducing the blood supply to the brain and presenting a greater risk of having a stroke. Patients with arterial plaque can take certain steps to remove plaque from their neck blood vessels to reduce their risk of brain damage.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

Cholesterol-lowering diet informationCholesterol-lowering medication (optional)A Body Mass Index calculatorQuitting smoking guidelines (optional)AspirinOther blood-thinning medications (optional)High blood pressure informationHigh blood pressure-lowering medication (optional)Results of your medical tests: ultrasound and angiogramInformed consent forms for surgical removal of carotid plaqueInformation on carotid artery surgeryFollow-up instructions after surgeryLong-term follow up instructions

Instructions

1 Eat a diet low in fat and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, such as animal fats. Eat more foods which contain HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, such as olive oil, nuts and fish containing Omega-3 fatty acids.

2 Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of taking a cholesterol-lowering medication (statin drug) to help reduce plaque and inflammation. Take all medications as prescribed.

3 Exercise regularly, performing both aerobics and light weight training at least three times a week.

4 Maintain a healthy weight at all times. If overweight, take steps to reducein accordance with your doctor's recommendations. Consult the Body Mass index guidelines from the National Institutes of Health to monitor your progress.

5 Don't smoke cigarettes. Join a smoking cessation program if you currently smoke and have difficulty quitting. Follow all the advice given to quit smoking.

6 Consult with your doctor about blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin, also known as coumadin. Discuss the side effects of warfarin and its abilities to remove plaque from the arteries.

7 Discuss your blood pressure with your doctor. Take medication to lower your high blood pressure if your doctor prescribes.

8 Consult with a cardiovascular specialist and undergo an ultrasound and an angiograph to determine the extent of any narrowing (stenosis) or blockage in the neck.

9 Discuss the two main surgical options to remove the plaque from the carotid arteries: angioplasty with ballooning and stenting (CAS), or carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Discuss the benefits and risks of each procedure.

10 Sign the consent forms for your doctor to proceed with plaque removal if the angiograph reveals blockage in the neck's blood vessels. Undergo the appropriate surgery as indicated by the level of narrowing or blocking in the carotid artery.

11 Follow the specialist's instructions after the CAS or CEA to try to prevent plaque from forming again. Take all medications exactly as prescribed.

12 Continue to modify your diet to stay thin and reduce cholesterol. Follow up with the surgeon in terms of testing and any changes in symptoms as needed.

Tips and warnings

Try to lower your cholesterol as naturally as possible.

If you have to lose weight, do so at a moderate pace of two pounds a week.

All medications have a risk of side effects, and they can often interact with one another.

If you are diabetic, consult with your doctor before making any drastic changes to your exercise and diet.

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