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Rotational Atherectomy

Rotational atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure utilized for treating coronary artery disease (CAD). It employs a small, diamond-coated burr or drill introduced into the affected artery to eliminate plaque buildup and reinstate blood flow.

How rotational atherectomy works

The process commences with inserting a catheter into an artery in the groin or wrist area. The catheter is then navigated to the obstructed artery using X-ray imaging. Subsequently, a small, diamond-tipped burr at the catheter's end is activated, rotating at high speeds.

The rotating burr grinds away the plaque buildup, generating minute particles that are subsequently eliminated from the body via the bloodstream. This cycle persists until adequate plaque is eliminated to reinstate proper blood flow through the artery.

Who is a candidate for rotational atherectomy

Rotational atherectomy is usually recommended for patients with severe coronary artery disease or those who haven't responded well to other treatments like medication or balloon angioplasty. In cases where plaque buildup is too hard or calcified for other methods to work, it may be considered.

However, not all patients with coronary artery disease are suitable candidates for rotational atherectomy. The procedure may not be appropriate for individuals with specific health conditions, such as blood clotting disorders or severe heart valve disease. Patients should discuss their medical history and current medications with their doctor before contemplating this procedure.

What to expect after your rotational atherectomy

Following a rotational atherectomy procedure, patients might encounter some discomfort or soreness at the catheter insertion site. This can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

It is vital for patients to adhere to any prescribed medications as directed by their physician and diligently adhere to all post-procedure care instructions. These instructions may involve limiting physical activity for a few days and refraining from strenuous activities for an extended period.

It is crucial for patients to continue making healthy lifestyle choices post-rotational atherectomy to uphold the procedure's benefits and prevent future plaque buildup. Through consistent medical care and lifestyle adjustments, patients can enhance their heart health and decrease their risk of complications from coronary artery disease.

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