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Treating & Preventing Renal Artery Stenosis

The narrowing of vessels responsible for supplying your kidneys with blood is called renal artery stenosis. This condition can permanently damage your kidneys, if left untreated. In most cases, renal artery stenosis is caused by the buildup of fatty plaque deposits along the inner wall of arteries. 

Several care options are available to treat this disorder, with treatment focusing on slowing the progression of the disease and preserving kidney function. 

Find a Doctor at Dignity Health who can address your heart and kidney concerns and provide the personal care you need. Our experts offer renal artery stenosis treatment in the Bay Area.

The Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Renal Artery Stenosis

Dignity Health doctors make treatment recommendations based on the severity of the condition, your overall health, and personal preferences. Most doctors follow a three-pronged approach for renal artery stenosis treatment: lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery. 

1. Lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of renal artery stenosis. The following adjustments in personal behavior can make a positive impact: 

  • Quit smoking.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. 

2. To manage the effects of renal artery stenosis, your doctor may prescribe medications to accomplish one or more of the following: 

  • Lower your blood pressure and preserve kidney functions
  • Eliminate excess water (diuretics, or “water pills”)
  • Lower your cholesterol to stop additional plaque from building up in your renal arteries
  • Ease blood flow through partially blocked arteries (aspirin or other blood thinning remedy)

3. If your renal artery stenosis is severe, not improving with medication, or found to be caused by fibromuscular dysplasia, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention:

  • Angioplasty (with or without stenting) opens up blocked renal arteries by flattening plaque build up against the artery walls.
  • Endarterectomy removes the lining of renal arteries.

Preventing Renal Artery Stenosis

You may be able to prevent renal artery stenosis by controlling the risk factors that contribute to plaque buildup in your renal arteries. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle, including getting plenty of exercise, can reduce your risk of developing the condition. 

At Dignity Health, our focus is on treating the whole person, not just the condition. Talk to your doctor about how you can maintain or improve your heart health.