Atherectomy

Atherectomy

Atherectomy Procedures in the Phoenix Metro Area

The six locations of the Arizona Vein and Laser Institute in the Phoenix Metro area offer comprehensive vascular treatments, including atherectomy, to improve blood flow and health in patients of all ages. Our experience spans many years, and we have seen and successfully treated early and advanced stages of venous disease with modern techniques and state-of-the-art technology. We invite you to read our customer reviews to learn about the comforting experiences our patients have had with us and contact us to schedule a consultation today.

What Is an Atherectomy?

When discussing the atherectomy definition, we get a clear sense of the procedure just from its name. The term “ather” means fatty plaque, and an “ectomy” is the process of surgical removal. Vascular surgeons use atherectomy to remove fatty plaque from the walls of veins and arteries. When too many cholesterol particles are in the blood, they can build and form deposits on artery walls restricting blood flow. During an atherectomy, a small medical tool is used to remove these deposits.

Treatment for Coronary Artery and Peripheral Artery Disease

Endovascular specialists perform atherectomies to treat coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease. Using a catheter with a sharp tip, our team can safely scrape the buildup of plaque off the walls of the arteries, store the removed particles in a small chamber, and completely remove it from the veins. Some patients may require multiple passes with the catheter, but the end result leaves artery walls clean, enabling blood to flow freely once again.

Atherectomy Vs. Angioplasty

Atherectomy and angioplasty procedures are both performed to improve blood flow in veins that are weakened or blocked with cholesterol plaque. While an angioplasty uses balloon inflation to widen an artery and sometimes a stent to help keep it open, atherectomy removes plaque from the body. Atherectomy is a preferred method for hard-to-reach areas that are not accessible with a stent, such as the branches and vessels that lead to extremities and cause peripheral artery disease.

How and Why an Atherectomy is Performed

Similar to angioplasty, atherectomy starts with a small puncture in an artery. The surgeon gently guides the catheter through the veins until it reaches the narrowed portion. A typical procedure lasts for about two hours, and the doctor may need to make multiple passes with the catheter to remove the plaque altogether. The surgery is minimally invasive and only requires local anesthesia in the area where the catheter is inserted initially. Patients who have excessive cholesterol from genetics or a fatty diet experience hardening of the arteries and narrowing. Atherectomies are a safe and routine procedure to remove the buildup and improve blood flow to reduce cramping and swelling in the lower extremities.

Benefits of Atherectomy Procedures

If a doctor or vascular surgeon has recommended an atherectomy for you or a family member, there are benefits to this type of procedure, including:

  • It is non-invasive
  • There is little to no scarring
  • We only use a local anesthesia
  • There is minimal risk of complications
  • There are no side effects

What to Know Before and After an Atherectomy

The doctor will discuss how to prepare for an atherectomy properly. Guidelines may include avoiding certain medications that make blood clots difficult, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners. Patients will be advised which prescriptions they can continue to take up until the surgery. Once the surgery is complete, most patients can resume normal activities after a few days of downtime. The doctor will go over the exact timeline after the procedure.

Learn If You Are a Candidate for Atherectomy

Contact the vascular specialists at the Arizona Vein and Laser Institute to learn more about our care and atherectomy procedures. We offer six convenient locations throughout the metro Phoenix, AZ area with highly qualified and experienced surgeons at each one.

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