Atherectomy

Atherectomy is a procedure done to open a partially blocked blood vessel to the heart so that blood can flow through it more easily. The procedure removes fat and calcium buildup (atherosclerosis) in the heart arteries.

During an atherectomy, a thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and carefully guided into the coronary artery that is narrowed. Once the tube reaches the narrowed portion of the artery, a cutting device, a whirling blade (such as rotational atherectomy), or a laser beam is used to remove the cholesterol and calcium buildup from the artery wall.

Last Updated: August 21, 2009

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.