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Atherectomy/Plaque Excision

Narrowing or blockage in the arteries is most often caused by atherosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries. Although it is commonly thought of as a heart disease, atherosclerosis can affect arteries anywhere in the body, including the legs and the brain. It is a gradual process in which cholesterol and other fatty deposits called plaque build up on the artery walls. These plaques act as barriers that limit blood flow through the arteries to tissues and organs.

When a blood clot, plaque or scar tissue causes an artery to become narrow or completely blocked, blood circulation is limited and the organs and tissues supplied by that artery do not recieve enough oxygen.

What is Atherectomy? (ath-er-EK-tuh-me)

Atherectomy is an exciting non-surgical procedure that removes the plaque and calcium deposits that sometimes block arteries. Through a tiny nick in your skin, your CiC physician places a device with a tiny rotating blade or spinning crown into your blood vessel and advances it, under X-Ray guidance, to the arterial obstruction. Then the device is activated and it gently shaves or sands the plaque off the wall of the artery. This opens the artery to allow blood to flow again, without the need for an incision or lengthy scar! Click the image below or see our Resources/Link page for video animations of these amazing treatments.

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