Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Testing | Invasive Cardiac Procedures
It is frequently observed that as atherosclerosis (cholesterol plaque) buildup progresses in the arteries, one can accumulate excessive calcium deposition within the plaque. The process continues in time and the calcified plaque hardens, much like bones or teeth. Calcified plaque is quite similar to a piece of rock within the lining of the artery. When the blockage is severe enough to require intervention, our typical approach of inflating a balloon to displace the plaque will simply not work. The balloon in fact will only exert pressure on the non-calcified (softer) part of the vessel and risk trauma or rupture of the vessel.
Rotational atherectomy (also known as ‘rotoblator’) is an integral tool in the cath lab for such calcified lesions. During this procedure, a diamond-tipped drill is carefully advanced into the vessel near the calcified segment and will rotate at high speeds (up to 180,000 rpm) to shave away the calcified plaque into fine particles that dissipate downstream. This will modify the plaque and enable the safe delivery and deployment of balloons and stents.
Your highly-skilled and experienced South Palm Cardiovascular Associates interventional cardiologist will perform this procedure when needed as part of providing you with most technically advanced cardiac care available. Your doctor will thoroughly explain and discuss the procedure with you, and answer any questions you may have.
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