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Atherectomy

Atherectomy is used to open up narrowed coronary arteries to increase blood flow. Atherectomy is performed under local anesthesia; a mild sedative is given intravenously. The surgeon inserts a catheter equipped with a sharp blade at its tip through your artery until it reaches the area of narrowing. The surgeon will then scrape away the plaque with the catheter blade and the scraped away plaque is then collected in a chamber in the tip of the catheter for removal. The surgeon may need to pass the catheter multiple times in order to remove a significant amount of atherosclerosis. Atherectomy involves similar techniques to those used for angioplasty but differs in the sense that atherectomy uses a cutting device like a blade to remove the plaque buildup from the artery wall.

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