An atherectomy is a procedure that restores blood flow to a narrowed coronary artery by removing the material blocking the artery. At Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, there are three types of devices available to perform an atherectomy. The entry and passage of these devices is very similar to the cardiac catheterization and PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty).
Based on the type and degree of blockage, your doctor performs one of the following treatments:
Directional Coronary Atherectomy (DCA)
A catheter with a side opening is positioned inside the coronary artery, across from the section where the fatty plaque is blocking blood flow. The catheter’s cutter blade shaves the plaque and collects it in the tip of the catheter.
Rotational Ablation Atherectomy
A catheter with tiny diamond chips on its tip is used to grind the blocking plaque into particles smaller than the size of a red blood cell. These particles pass into the circulation and are removed by the body.
Transluminal Extraction Atherectomy
A catheter with rotating cutter blades at the tip removes the blockage. The material removed is vacuumed into the catheter and removed.