First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Atherectomy
Atherectomy is a procedure done to open a partially blocked blood vessel to the heart so that blood can flow through it more easily. The procedure removes fat and calcium buildup (plaque) in the heart arteries.
During an atherectomy, a thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and carefully guided into the coronary artery that is narrowed. When the tube reaches the narrowed portion of the artery, the doctor uses a special cutting device to remove the plaque buildup from the artery wall.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.