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What is an atherectomy?

An atherectomy is a medical procedure to remove the build-up of plaque—called atherosclerosis—on the walls of the arteries, which can limit the flow of blood to parts of the body, especially the feet, limbs, trunk, heart, and neck.

Cardio Flow’s FreedomFlow® atherectomy system is a device that can potentially treat arterial plaque blockages. There are five minimally invasive techniques for removing this plaque, but current devices on the market do not remove it as efficiently as physicians may prefer.

FreedomFlow’s technology can potentially give physicians a new, more flexible way to remove or modify these blockages. FreedomFlow is now being tested in a clinical trial for treatment of arterial plaque for patients suffering from peripheral artery disease and critical limb ischemia.

Read more about two common conditions caused by atherosclerosis in the feet, legs, arms, or trunk: 

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Orbital atherectomy refers to a method physicians may use in removing plaque from an artery.

There are five types of atherectomy devices currently on the market. Each uses a different approach:

  • Directional atherectomy devices use a shaving technique to cut and remove plaque.
  • Rotational atherectomy devices use a rotating blade or diamond-coated burr on the tip of the device to cut or sand plaque away.
  • Orbital atherectomy devices use a diamond-coated sanding element that is attached to the side of the device; the element is then rotated in an orbital (eccentric) technique that enables it to adjust to the size of the vessel being treated.
  • Laser atherectomy devices use light energy to vaporize plaque.
  • Intravascular lithotripsy devices use sonic pressure waves to break up plaque.