Atherosclerosis And Vascular Surgery: How Can You Maintain Low Cholesterol Levels After Surgery?

If you recently underwent vascular surgery to treat atherosclerosis, your doctor may prescribe you special medications called statins to reduce your cholesterol levels once you arrive home. Although the medications may improve your chances of survival post-surgery, you may want to make a few changes yourself that help ensure that you stay on track to good health. If you don't maintain good health, such as eating nutritious foods, your cholesterol levels may increase and endanger the success of your vascular surgery. Here's how atherosclerosis affects you and what you can do after surgery to maintain good health.

What's Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease that develops from having too much cholesterol in your blood. The cholesterol sticks to the inner lining of your arteries and harden, which may block the flow of blood to your heart. Vascular surgery and the medications you take help prevent atherosclerosis from advancing to other forms of heart disease, such as carotid artery disease.

Carotid artery disease has the potential to cause a number of complications if it cuts off the flow of blood to your brain, including strokes. Depending on the severity of a stroke, it may affect you temporarily or it may cause massive damages in your body.

Protecting your heart and blood vessels from heart disease and high cholesterol is essential.

What Can You Do to Stay Healthy?

Some sources recommend that people add whole grains, low-fat dairy and several other cholesterol-lowering food choices to their diet to help protect their hearts from disease. The foods also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy blood pressure. If you're unsure about what types of heart-healthy foods to eat, it's a good idea that you speak to a nutritionist.

A nutritionist may work with your heart doctor to help develop meal plans for you. Because some medications may react negatively to different foods, it's essential that a nutritionist consult with your doctor before placing you on any meal or diet plan. If possible, ask your heart doctor for a referral to see a nutritionist during one of your post-surgery checkups.

In addition to eating better foods, it's a good idea that you improve your physical health through exercise or therapy. You may want to ask your heart doctor to refer you to physical therapy once your vascular surgery site heals. Physical therapy exercises may include walking, swimming and several other exercises that increase the health of your heart without placing strain on it or your blood vessels.

For more information, contact Cedar Surgical Associates PC or a similar organization.