Encyclopedia / A / Atherectomy



Atherectomy is the removal of plaque from coronary arteries and vein grafts.


In general, atherectomy is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory under local anesthesia either at the same time as diagnostic coronary arteriography (using dye to determine the extent of coronary artery blockage), or at a later time.

The catheter is usually inserted into a vessel in the patient's groin and threaded through the vessel into the heart and coronary blood vessels.


How does plaque develop in the arteries?

Would you recommend atherectomy instead of balloon angioplasty for the condition?

Is atherectomy considered an outpatient procedure or is hospitalization recommended?

What is the recovery time?

Will a lifestyle be necessary after an atherectomy?

Will changing eating habits help prevent additional plaque build-up?

Can plaque build up again? If so, will an atherectomy have to be done again?

Are there any medications that can be taken to alleviate plaque buildup?