As calcium builds up in the artery walls, plaque can become extremely rigid and hard - too hard for an angioplasty balloon to stretch the artery open. To solve this problem, medical researchers designed the rotablator, a small drill with a burr on the end that is coated in diamond dust. You might sometimes hear a rotablator called a “diamond rotor” for this reason. The rotablator drills through the calcified plaque, breaking up the plaque into tiny pieces as it works. These pieces of plaque are small enough to be safely picked up by your bloodstream and eventually your body eliminates them.
- Q What is peripheral angioplasty and stenting?
- Q Do all angioplasty patients receive stents?
- Q What if leg or foot pain returns after endovascular treatment?
- Q What are the treatment options for arteriolosclerosis?
- Q Is there a cure for arteriosclerosis obliterans?
- Q How can I care for someone with arteriosclerosis obliterans?