Medical Definition of Atherectomy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017

Atherectomy: A procedure to remove plaque (atheroma) from the inside of a blood vessel. Atherectomy is done most often in major arteries, such as the coronary, carotid, and vertebral arteries, that have experienced the occlusive effects of atherosclerosis. Atherectomy may be accomplished by various means, including angioplasty, laser surgery, conventional surgical incision, or use of a small drill-tipped catheter. In the US, atherectomy is nicknamed the 'Rotorooter' procedure, after a company that cleans out drainage pipes.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

QUESTION

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017