Three Main Treatment ApproachesYou and your healthcare team have options for treating coronary heart disease, called CHD. Together you may decide you need some combination of the following treatments.

  • You may need to make changes in things you do every day to help prevent your disease from getting worse. These changes will also reduce your risk of further complications. You may need to exercise more, eat healthier foods, stop smoking, lose weight, and reduce your stress.
  • You may need to take medicines that will help your heart do the job it needs to do.
  • You may need surgery or another invasive procedure to open up clogged arteries and improve the way your heart gets the blood and oxygen it needs.

No treatment will cure your coronary heart disease. And most standard treatments are unable to cure the atherosclerosis that has caused your CHD.

What standard treatment will do is help you live a full and active life while minimizing further complications. It may be possible to reverse atherosclerosis by following Dr. Dean Ornish's intensive lifestyle change program. However, this program is not for everyone. It can be hard to follow and to stick with over time. If you want to learn more about that program, see What Are the Benefits of Intensive Lifestyle Changes?

The information on the following pages will help you understand what your options are. This will help you ask the right questions when you meet with your doctor and other members of your healthcare team. With the right information, you will be better able to help them choose the treatment that's best for you.