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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about atherectomy?
Atherectomy is a procedure used to remove plaque that narrows or blocks your arteries. Plaque is fat, cholesterol, or tissues that build up on the inner artery wall. Blood flow is decreased when plaque builds up and narrows the arteries. Decreased blood flow can cause chest pain or a heart attack.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the procedure. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
What will happen during the procedure?
A small incision will be made in your groin, arm, or wrist. A catheter will be inserted into your artery and moved to the blockage. You may be given dye so your surgeon can see the blockage clearly. He will use a cutting device to remove the plaque from your artery. Your incision will be closed with stitches.
What are the risks of the procedure?
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your artery may be damaged or tear. Your arteries may become completely blocked during the procedure. This stops blood flow and may lead to a heart attack. You may need coronary artery bypass graft surgery. You may get a blood clot in your limb. This may become life-threatening.
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