Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    bypass surgery
    pltlady posted:
    my dad had bypass surgery over 15 years ago and started experiencing chest pain when in cold air this year
    heart dr said ekg test showed blockage then did other test and said blockage where bypass surgery was so couldnt put stent in
    dr put him on medication
    is there any diet, exercise, surgery or supplement that will clean plaque out of heart and arteries to reduce heart attack chance
    thanks for any help
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    It has been reported, that in some individuals, it's possible to halt or reverse atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries to some degree, through lifestyle changes, statin-therapy (**typically high-dose as seen in clinical trials), strict, uniquely-customized or highly-specialized diet (e.g., Ornish), exercise regimen, and stress management.

    **Intensive Cholesterol Lowering With Atorvastatin Halts Progression Of Heart Disease, Cleveland Clinic-Led Study Shows

    'REVERSAL' Trial

    The REVERSAL trial, compared the highest doses available at the time of two popular statin drugs, pravastatin and atorvastatin....

    "When we analyzed the results of REVERSAL, we realized that we had found an approach to coronary disease treatment that could literally stop heart disease in its tracks"......

    ......"and said blockage where bypass surgery was so couldn't put stent in. Dr. put him on medication."

    In general-only here, and beyond drug-therapy, if/when common procedures, first time or re-do, such as angioplasty, with or without stents, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgey, or uncommon procedures, such as coronary atherectomy (grinds up/pulverizes or mechanically extracts the plaque) or percutaneous excimer laser coronary angioplasty (vaporizes the plaque) are not deemed feasible, as applicable to the patient, there may/can be other options that includes non-invasive EECP, laser-based TMR or PMR/PMC, and gene therapy/transfer.

    FDA approved non-invasive Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) treatments.

    Are You a Candidate for EECP Therapy?

    Surgical-based transmyocardial revascularization (TMR, FDA approved) and catheter-based percutaneous myocardial revascularization or channeling (PMR/PMC, FDA approval still pending), laser therapy.

    Holmium:YAG laser

    Patient education site

    CO2 Heart Laser

    Growing your own so-called "bio-bypass" (collateral vessels) around blockages in the heart, and in the legs

    It's known as gene therapy/gene transfer, which has been in experimental phases for quite some time now.

    As reported, over the last 20 years, gene therapy has moved from pre-clinical animal investigations (animal models) to human clinical studies for many diseases ranging from single gene disorders, to much more complex, multi-factorial, multi-conditional diseases such as dreaded cancer and cardiovascular disorders.

    Readers Digest Online - February 2008

    An experimental treatment is giving desperately ill heart patients a new lease on life.

    A process called angiogenesis. The experimental procedure had shown great promise in two German studies, and the FDA had approved the launch of the first American clinical trial.

    The technique involves injecting the heart with a protein called fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1).

    "The protein is like a seed that causes new vessels to sprout, creating a network of capillaries and small arteries."

    FGF-1 occurs naturally in the body.

    Best of luck to your dad down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)




    "Be a questioning patient. TALK to your DOCTOR and ASK QUESTIONS. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

    - Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


    WebMD/WebMD forums DOES NOT provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    WebMD DOES NOT endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    Unfortunately it is unlikely that any intervention will truly "clean out" plaque from a blood vessel, although mild reduction in plaque size has been seen with high dose statin therapy and some physicians claim success with adoption of a vegan diet, although that has not been scientifically validated in large research studies. Exercise can improve quality of life considerably - cardiac rehabilitation for example can reduce mortality and morbidity by 20% in many situations. So while there is not a quick fix, a holistic approach could help you dad have fewer symptoms and a better overall quality of life.
    deadmanwalking57 responded:
    Hello pltlady:

    I have severe atherosclerosis, and am also sensitive to the cold.

    The key to blockage regression/cleanout is diet and exercise, the two things people least want to alter about their lifestyle.

    Exercise will help both lower LDL and raise HDL. Increased HDL can assist in cholesterol efflux, but that is more pronounced when the diet can build greater amounts of paraoxonase. That seems to be accomplished through boosts in reserveratrol in some foods, and pomegranate. The studies I found about 5 years ago indicate that pomegranate boosts paraoxonase which has the three fold effect of boosting effectiveness of HDL for clearing LDL, of actually stimulating cholesterol efflux from blockages, and is a powerful anti-oxidant.

    Most people don't know WHY they should add anti-oxidants to their diet. Anti-oxidants prevent oxidation of the LDL cholesterol. If it is not oxidized, it is far less, or possibly not all harmful. Oxidized LDL is what gets drawn into the blockage sites expanding them, and slowly choking off the artery.

    So arterial improvement starts with stopping blockage growth. Key is reduction of LDL through diet, reduction of ox-LDL through increase of dietary anti-oxidants. Then start a very gradual exercise program to use up more un-oxidized LDL as an energy source.

    Exercise also improves EPCs, as does increasing green tea and pistachios in the diet which boosts production of EPCs and their function. These help prevent new blockage sites forming by repairing new arterial damage to pristine condition.

    I have many tips and resources on perhaps three WebMD heart related forums, culled from other research sites. I also suggest a very good book, though a bit late for your Dad, "Longevity Made Simple"

    My success story may be highlighted in an upcoming edition of WebMD magazine.

    Helpful Tips

    Nix Grapefruit & Statin DrugsExpert
    Grapefruit & statin drugs can be a bad combination. Unlike other citrus fruits, grapefruit contains substances that disable certain ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    17 of 19 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

    Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center