Rotational Atherectomy is a procedure which clears a blocked or narrowed artery using highly specialised catheterisation. We use a revolving instrument called a Rotablator to break up calcified plaque in your artery and restore blood flow to your heart.
We use rotational atherectomy for particularly tough blockages where balloon angioplasty and stent alone is not sufficient. The effects are immediate: your blood flow and heart function will improve within five minutes.
Why do I need Rotational Atherectomy?
You may require this procedure if your arteries have become so narrowed or blocked that they are causing you serious heart problems, including chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or heart attack.
What can I expect:
Rotational Atherectomy is performed by Global Cardiology’s heart specialists and a team of specialised cardiovascular nurses in hospital under a local anaesthetic.
You’ll be admitted to hospital on the day of the procedure.
When it’s time to begin, you’ll be taken to the procedure room and asked to lie on an operating table where you will be connected to a heart monitor.
You’ll be given medication to help you relax and provide pain relief.
You will then be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted (either your wrist or groin). Your cardiologist will gently insert the catheter into an artery until it reaches the blockage in your heart.
You might feel pressure in the area where the catheter is inserted, but not pain. You won’t feel the catheter in your body either.
Next, a dye will be injected into the artery to enable your cardiologist to see the exact size and location of your artery. You may feel a warm flush when this happens.
Using a guide wire, your cardiologist will then thread through another catheter with a small rotating drill at the tip. This drill rotates at a speed of up to 150,000 rpm, gently grinding the blockage away into tiny particles that will pass safely through your bloodstream.
Rotational Atherectomy can take several hours depending on the number of arteries needing treatment. When the procedure is finished, your cardiologist will remove the catheter and apply pressure to the area where it was inserted.
You’ll most likely spend the night in hospital while we monitor your heart and adjust your medications. You should be able to return to work or your normal routine within a few days.