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Rotational Atherectomy

Rotational Atherectomy

What is Rotational Atherectomy?

Rotational Atherectomy is a specialized procedure used to treat severely calcified coronary artery blockages that are resistant to standard angioplasty techniques. This procedure involves using a high-speed rotational device, often referred to as a to remove the calcified plaque from the artery walls, allowing for the placement of a stent to restore normal blood flow.

The rotablator is a small, diamond-tipped, rotating burr that is attached to a catheter. It is inserted into the artery through a small incision, usually in the groin or wrist. Once the device reaches the blockage, it spins at a high speed (up to 200,000 RPM), grinding away the hard, calcified plaque into tiny particles. These particles are small enough to be safely carried away by the bloodstream and filtered out by the body.

Rotational Atherectomy is typically performed in a hospital or specialized cardiac catheterization lab. The patient is awake but sedated, and a local anesthetic is applied to the insertion site. The procedure usually takes about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the blockage. After the calcified plaque is removed, a balloon angioplasty and stenting are performed to keep the artery open and maintain blood flow.

One of the main advantages of Rotational Atherectomy is its ability to treat complex and heavily calcified lesions that cannot be effectively managed with standard angioplasty or stenting alone. This procedure improves the success rate of stent placement and reduces the risk of restenosis (re-narrowing of the artery). It is particularly beneficial for patients with advanced coronary artery disease and those who have previously undergone angioplasty or stenting without success.

Overall, Rotational Atherectomy is a crucial tool in the treatment of severe coronary artery disease, providing a viable option for patients with challenging calcified blockages. If your doctor has recommended Rotational Atherectomy, it is important to follow their instructions and prepare for the procedure to ensure the best possible outcomes. This advanced technique plays a vital role in restoring blood flow to the heart and improving cardiovascular health.