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What is an atherectomy?

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Atherectomy is a procedure used to clean out clogged heart arteries. An atherectomy catheter has a hollow cylinder on the tip with an open window on one side and a balloon on the other. When the catheter is inserted into the narrowed artery, the balloon is inflated, pushing the window against the fatty matter clogging the vessel. A blade (cutter) within the cylinder rotates and shaves off any fat that protrudes into the window. The shavings are caught in a chamber within the catheter and removed. This process is repeated as needed to allow better blood flow.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart Failure."

Heart Failure Society of America.

Texas Heart Institute.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart Failure."

Heart Failure Society of America.

Texas Heart Institute.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on October 29, 2017

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What is the definition of atherosclerosis?

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