Rotational Trans Luminal Atherectomy
Atherectomy uses a rotating shaver or other device placed on the end of a catheter to slice away or destroy plaque. At the beginning of the procedure, medications to control blood pressure, dilate the coronary arteries, and prevent blood clots are administered. The patient is awake but sedated. The catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin, leg, or arm, and threaded through the blood vessels into the blocked coronary artery. The cutting head is positioned against the plaque and activated, and the plaque is ground up or suctioned out.
The types of atherectomy are rotational, directional, and transluminal extraction. Rotational atherectomy uses a high speed rotating shaver to grind up plaque. Transluminal extraction coronary atherectomy uses a device that cuts plaque off vessel walls and vacuums it into a bottle. It is used to clear bypass grafts.
Performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, atherectomy is also called removal of plaque from the coronary arteries. It can be used instead of, or along with, balloon angioplasty.