Atherectomy is a minimally invasive performed to remove atherosclerosis from the blood vessel. Atherectomy is an alternative to angioplasty for the treatment of peripheral artery disease. The procedure involves removing the plaque build-up in the blood vessels, using the blade attached to a catheter. The goal of treatment is to eliminate the build-up of plaque in arteries.
An atherectomy procedure is necessary if the arteries become too narrowed or blocked from plaque inside the artery walls. If arteries are blocked, blood cannot get through to nourish the tissues, causing the muscles of the lower extremities to cramp and lose strength. An atherectomy helps treat blockages in arteries that occur around branches or in vessels that are not easily treated with stents.
The procedure is done under mild anaesthesia. The surgeon will insert a catheter equipped with a sharp blade at its tip and advance it through the artery until it reaches the area of narrowing. The surgeon then scrapes away the plaque with the catheter blade. The plaque is collected in a chamber in the tip of the catheter for removal. The surgeon may need to pass the catheter multiple times to remove a significant amount of atherosclerosis. The procedure takes around 2 hours and the pre-op takes a few hours more. The surgical procedure is minimally invasive and involves fewer risks and complications.
The recovery process is very simple. The patient is kept still for 3-6 hours post-procedure to ensure the incision stops bleeding. The pain at the incision site is very less and will be healed at a short time. The area is checked periodically for bleeding. Little swelling might be common in the initial days. The hospital stay lasts for a day or two usually. The patient is discharged after close monitoring and no complications for two days. The patient is given wound care instructions. The patient is advised to do minimal physical activity for a few days. They can resume their normal activities in three weeks. The patient will also be given a few follow up medications. The patient should ensure that the medications are followed for a speedy recovery.
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