My name is Carlo Di Mario. I am a consultant cardiologist.

I work at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

Atherosclerosis, it's simple.

It's just an encroachment of lipids, mainly cholesterol, in the vessel wall.

These lipids tend to lead to inflammation

and this process can go two ways.

One is just a progressive thickening

of these what we call atherosclerotic plaques

that reduces the size of the lumen

and impairs blood passage.

But the worst scenario is that these lipids open up

towards the lumen of the vessel,

get in contact with blood

and the entire vessel is shut off

because a sudden thrombosis develops.

Since there is a great variety of symptoms

and severity of the disease,

the treatment is also very variable.

The vast majority of patients

fortunately simply need a better treatment

of what we call risk factors,

so a better control of their blood pressure,

of their cholesterol level, of their diabetes

and the cessation of smoking,

another very important risk factor for atherosclerosis.

There are basically two types of treatments available.

One is called coronary angioplasty

and the second is called bypass surgery.

When you have properly treated

the most severe form of atherosclerotic occlusions,

that means after an angioplasty, after a bypass operation,

if you try to avoid continuation of smoking

and you control your risk factors,

you may have a long, long period of complete wellbeing

and return to normal work activity

and to good physical exercise.