What is an atherectomy for atherosclerosis/PAD/PVD?
An atherectomy is a procedure that utilizes a catheter with a sharp blade on the end to remove plaque from a blood vessel. The catheter is inserted into the artery through a small puncture in the artery, and it is performed under local anesthesia. The catheter is designed to collect the removed plaque in a chamber in the tip, which allows removal of the plaque as the device is removed from the artery. The process can be repeated at the time the treatment is performed to remove a significant amount of disease from the artery, thus eliminating a blockage from atherosclerotic disease.
Why is this atherosclerosis atherectomy procedure performed? Why do I need this procedure?
The goal of treatment is to eliminate the build-up of plaque in your arteries.
You may need this atherectomy procedure if your arteries become too narrowed or blocked from plaque inside the artery walls. If arteries are blocked, blood cannot get through to nourish the tissues, causing the muscles of the lower extremities to cramp and lose strength.
An atherectomy is especially helpful for treating blockages in arteries that occur around branches or in vessels that are not easily treated with stents.
This procedure is not ideal for everyone. Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient's circumstances.
Where is the atherectomy procedure performed and who performs this procedure?
This procedure is performed in the hospital surgical, interventional, or catheterization suite by a trained vascular surgeon.
Doctors vary in quality due to differences in training and experience; hospitals differ in the number of services available. The more complex your medical problem, the greater these differences in quality become and the more they matter.
Clearly, the doctor and hospital that you choose for complex, specialized medical care will have a direct impact on how well you do. To help you make this choice, please review our Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute Outcomes.