Peripheral artery disease is associated with diabetes, smoking, and advanced age. The disease is characterized by pain and numbness in your extremities. Caused by a build-up of fat or plaque in an artery, it’s treated with a variety of endovascular methods, one of them is atherectomy, a procedure your surgeon performs to cut away the atherosclerotic plaque from an arterial wall. The procedure restores the blood flow. When you need the best vascular expert, call Dr. Sergei Sobolevsky at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center in Brooklyn.
What Is an Atherectomy Procedure?
An atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure designed to remove a plaque build-up from an artery, restoring a normal blood flow in the artery. Arteries carry oxygenated blood with the nutrients to all part of your body from your heart. The fat, cholesterol and minerals that build up in your arteries over time cause peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which the arteries in your legs or lower extremities become narrow or clogged.
During an atherectomy, your endovascular surgeon uses special instruments to cut or scrape out the build-up in your blood vessels. It’s a proven procedure that opens up your arteries to restore proper blood flow. Visit Dr. Sergei Sobolevsky, a vascular and interventional radiology expert at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center in Brooklyn for successful PAD treatments, to> including:
Do I Need an Atherectomy?
Dr. Sobolevsky and this team of vein and artery doctors have performed over 25,000 minimally invasive procedures, including atherectomies. Signs that you may be a candidate for atherectomy include:
- Leg pain when walking
- Muscle pain or cramping in your legs or arms
- Pain in your legs or arms that disappears with rest
- Leg numbness, coldness or weakness
- Weak or no pulse in your legs
- Discoloration of your skin
- Stunted growth of your toenails
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your legs
- Shiny skin on your legs
If you do need an atherectomy, your surgeon chooses an optimal device. The method your doctor chooses depends on nuances of your disease. The varieties of this technology include:
- Rotational atherectomy. For this type of atherectomy, your vascular doctor uses small blades that move in a circular motion to cut away the fatty tissue blocking your arteries.
- Laser atherectomy. This type of atherectomy procedure leverages high-intensity laser light to vaporize the plaque blockages in your arteries.
- Orbital atherectomy. For this procedure, your artery surgeon uses a special spinning tool to cut out the plaque attached to the artery walls.
- Directional atherectomy. To perform this procedure, the vascular surgeon uses a blade to shave plaque in one direction.
Dr. Sobolevsky’s vein treatment gave me impressive results. The procedure was painless and the recovery time was minimal. I’m grateful for his expertise and would highly recommend him to anyone seeking vein treatment.
What’s Involved in the Atherectomy Procedure?
Atherectomy is a component of angiography and its main steps include:
- You need only a local anesthesia and mild sedation to reduce discomfort for an endovascular procedure involving atherectomy.
- Your doctor makes a 2-mm incision in your skin. Through the incision, the doctor pushes a catheter into an artery in your arm or leg.
- The surgeon inserts tiny instruments, such as catheters and wires, into the target arteries. For enhanced precision, your surgeon uses imaging technology, including digital subtraction angiography and intra-arterial ultrasound, to navigate instruments during a procedure.
- Atherectomy procedure. Through the catheter, the surgeon inserts an atherectomy device to scrape out the plaque from the artery walls. In laser atherectomy, your surgeon uses laser equipment to vaporize the plaque.
- If an artery does not stay open after an atherectomy procedure and balloon angioplasty, stenting may be necessary. This procedure involves the use of a mesh frame that permanently supports the walls of the weakened artery.
- The procedure requires minimal recovery. After one to three hours of observation, you can leave the doctor’s office.
Following the procedure, the improved blood flow through the artery is expected to result in a relief of your PAD symptoms.
What Can I Expect after the Procedure?
After an angiography and atherectomy, the endovascular specialist provides post-care instructions. Some post-operative guidelines include:
- Take pain medications as needed to relieve any swelling or soreness
- Drinking fluids to flush the contrast dye from your body
- Taking a blood thinner, such as aspirin
- Limiting any strenuous activities
- Doing gentle exercises and walking to stimulate blood flow
- Keeping your follow-up appointment
Contact your doctor in case of complications, such as redness, discharge, swelling, severe pain, excessive bleeding, infection, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting or limb numbness. For faster recovery and to avoid any complications, follow your doctor’s instructions.
What Are the Benefits of an Atherectomy?
If you’ve experienced persistent pain, swelling or other symptoms in your limbs, you may be suffering from peripheral arterial disease. Atherectomy is an effective procedure to unclog your arteries. It offers multiple benefits, including:
- Relief for PAD symptoms without major surgery
- A minimally invasive procedure with a small 2-mm incision
- Fast and efficient treatment for blocked arteries
- Reduced risk of infection, compared to traditional surgery
- Fast recovery
Peripheral arterial disease may seriously affect the quality of your life. Contact the best vein and artery doctors in New York City today at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center. This vein and artery practice is located in Downtown Brooklyn, but it serves all Brooklyn and greater New York City.
Sergei Sobolevsky, MD, is a leading specialist in endovascular medicine with experience in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Sobolevsky has decades of experience in the field, with over 25,000 procedures performed, accumulating extensive experience in image-guided minimally invasive medicine, diagnosing and treating a range of conditions.
Dr. Sobolevsky earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his specialty clinical training in vascular and interventional radiology at Harvard University. Later, he earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and named to the Top Doctors New York Metro Area in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Dr. Sobolevsky is licensed in multiple states, has delivered presentations at numerous institutions in the US and abroad, and now acts as a clinical advisor for the biomedical industry. He also held multiple positions in the field during his career, including Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, Senior Vice President in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artann Laboratories in North Brunswick, NJ, and Medical Director at the American Endovascular and Amputation Prevention Center in Brooklyn.More About Dr. Sobolevsky
Downtown Vein Treatment Center
480 Court Street, Ste 101
Brooklyn, NY 11231