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Percutaneous Atherectomy

The vascular surgeons at UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute have extensive experience performing percutaneous atherectomy for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for your percutaneous atherectomy?

When you choose UPMC in Central Pa. for your percutaneous atherectomy, you will receive expert care from some of the region's most experienced vascular specialists. We provide expert care using minimally invasive catheter-based techniques to remove blockages in your arteries, restore blood flow, and treat peripheral vascular disease.

What is percutaneous atherectomy?

Percutaneous atherectomy is a procedure during which your vascular specialist will insert a specially equipped atherectomy catheter through your skin into your blocked artery to remove a buildup of plaque from inside your artery.

The atherectomy catheter contains a sharp rotating blade, grinding bit, or laser filament that "shaves" away the blocked area inside your artery. The catheter also contains a system that collects or suctions any debris caused by the plaque removal.

Percutaneous atherectomy can be used to treat blockages that cannot be treated with angioplasty and stenting. It can also be used as a complement to angioplasty and stenting, removing blockages to allow for the insertion of a balloon and stent.

What happens during percutaneous atherectomy?

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. You will stay awake during the procedure, but will be sedated for your comfort.

Your surgeon will thread a thin guide wire into the blocked artery through a needle inserted into an artery in your groin. Contrast dye will be injected into your artery and x-rays will be taken while the dye moves through your artery.

Using these x-ray images, an atherectomy catheter will be advanced to the location of the blockage. The atherectomy catheter is a thin tube inserted into an artery in your groin that contains a cutting blade, grinding device, or laser filament that will be used to remove the blockage. In addition, the catheter also will contain a collection or suctioning system used to remove any debris as a result of the procedure.

After the blocked portion of the vessel is opened and blood flow is improved, your surgeon may place a metal device called a stent at the location of the blockage to reduce the likelihood that another blockage will form. The catheter will then be removed.

What can I expect after percutaneous atherectomy?

After your percutaneous atherectomy, you will go back to your hospital room and rest in bed for 12-24 hours. You will most likely be able to go home the next day.

How long does it take to recover after percutaneous atherectomy?

You can usually resume normal activity within a day or two, but you should ask your doctor when you can return to work. It is very important that you see your doctor for follow-up visits as recommended.

Need more information?

Phone: 717-731-0101

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UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
1251 East Main Street
Suite 3
Annville, PA 17003

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
360 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17013

Adult Cardiology: 717-243-6557
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-243-0102

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2020 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-731-8359

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building 2
2005 Technology Parkway
Suite 300
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Main Number: 717-988-5864
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
900 Century Drive
Suite 100
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Phone: 717-591-3660 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-591-3661

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Professional Center of Newport
300 Bretz Court
Newport, PA 17074

Phone: 717-567-7246 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-567-2621

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2808 Old Post Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-920-4401

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
12 Saint Paul Drive
Suite 205
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Adult Cardiology: 717-217-6881
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-217-6889

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
2201 Brunswick Drive
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
233 College Avenue
Suite 203
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 717-988-5864

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