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An atherectomy is a procedure in which your vascular surgeon inserts a specialized catheter into a blocked artery to remove a buildup of atherosclerotic plaque from within the vessel. The catheter contains a sharp rotating blade, grinding bit or laser filament as well as a collection system that permits your surgeon to remove the plaque from the wall of the vessel and collect or suction any resulting debris. 

Atherectomy is typically used to treat blockages where angioplasty and stenting cannot be performed. This may be as a result of anatomical factors, the location of the blockage, the hardness of the plaque, or other factors. More commonly, atherectomy is used as a complement to angioplasty and stenting, removeing significantly hardened blockages and allowing for the insertion of a balloon and stent. A stent is a small metal device that helps to prevent a blockage from reforming at the same location.

A variety of catheters can be used for this procedure, with the type of catheter being used dependent on the nature of the blockage treated.

For more information on the diagnosis, treatment and procedures regarding vascular disease, visit www.vascularweb.org.

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Vascular Surgery at Albany Vascular Specialist Center, Albany, Georgia | The Official Albany Vascular Specialist Center Website
Albany Vascular Specialist Center | 2300 Dawson Road | Albany, GA 31707 | Telephone: (229) 436-8535 | Fax: (229) 432-1904
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