What Are the Treatments for Plaque of Abdominal Aorta?

By Crystal Welch

Treatments for plaque of abdominal aorta range from natural methods such as making positive lifestyle changes to undergoing surgery. Treatment depends upon your individual situation and the severity of your plaque formation. In medical terms, plaque formation is known as atherosclerosis. According to the American Heart Association, atherosclerosis occurs when deposits such as cholesterol build up in the aorta wall's lining. Unhealthy habits can contribute to onset of this slow, complex disease.

Treatments for plaque of abdominal aorta range from natural methods such as making positive lifestyle changes to undergoing surgery. Treatment depends upon your individual situation and the severity of your plaque formation. In medical terms, plaque formation is known as atherosclerosis. According to the American Heart Association, atherosclerosis occurs when deposits such as cholesterol build up in the aorta wall's lining. Unhealthy habits can contribute to onset of this slow, complex disease.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Make lifestyle changes. Often, positive lifestyle changes are the first defense in treating plaque of the abdominal aorta, or atherosclerosis, according to the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association (AHA). Lifestyle changes can reduce risk factors and prevent further plaque development.

Eat a heart healthy diet. Lower your harmful cholesterol levels (low-density lipoproteins or LDL). One way to do this is to start eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat low-fat protein, such as fish, instead of red meat. Forget foods high in saturated fats, such as deep fried and fast foods. Choose healthy oils of the monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated varieties. Cook using steaming, poaching, grilling or baking as your preferred methods. Foods containing trans fats are notable for increasing harmful cholesterol and causing plaque development. The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding all foods with trans fats.

Exercise more. AHA recommends 30 minutes of moderately brisk physical activity at least five times per week. Examples of moderately brisk exercise include walking, bicycling, lawn mowing, rowing, dancing, and gardening. This is the level needed to receive cardiovascular benefits, such as reduced plaque formation.

Reduce other risks. Stop smoking since tobacco use increases the severity of both cancer and diabetes. Lower your blood pressure through meditating and deep breathing. Meditate by finding a quiet place and clearing your mind of all thoughts. Concentrate on only your breathing. Count your breaths.

Lose weight, if needed. Limit alcohol consumption. Manage diabetes and blood sugar levels through healthy eating, exercising, using portion control, maintaining a healthy weight and regulating your insulin levels.

Medications

Take prescribed medications. Various medications are prescribed to help treat plaque of your abdominal aorta. The medication depends upon your individual situation.

As might be expected, cholesterol lowering medications, such as statins and fibrates, can help lower harmful cholesterol levels, which are known to lead to plaque formation. Actively pursue lowering your LDL, which can slow, prevent or reverse plaque buildup in your abdominal aorta artery (as well as other arteries), according to AHA.

Regarding blood pressure medications, you may be prescribed calcium channel blockers, beta blockers or ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors to help slow the progression of abdominal aorta plaque development, according to the Mayo Clinic.

When taking anti-coagulant medications, these blood thinners, or anti-coagulants, such as heparin or Coumadin (warfarin) may help prevent clots from forming.

For the anti-platelet drug class, aspirin may be recommended as a way to treat the plaque of your abdominal aorta due to its anti-platelet components, which prevent plaque formation.

Surgery

Depending upon the severity of the plaque of your abdominal aorta, different surgical options may be recommended.

The abdominal aortic surgery involves inserting a catheter (long, thin tube) into the narrow part of your abdominal aorta. The balloon is inflated, which results in the plaque being compressed against your artery walls. The artery is kept open by keeping the tube in the artery.

Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). This surgery involves making an incision in your groin area and inserting a stent-graft via your femoral artery. The aneurysm is repaired or removed.

References

About the Author

Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.

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