Rotablation is a procedure that is used in the treatment of coronary heart disease in patients with angina pectoris.

November 2, 2022

Rotablation is a procedure that is used in the treatment of coronary heart disease in patients with angina pectoris.

Some facts about Rotablation:

  • Plague, a fatty substance made up of cholesterol, calcium and other materials builds up in the arteries over time which leads to partial or complete chocking of that artery, resulting either into a stroke, heart attack or obstructions in the blood vessels of the legs causing pain
  • The plaque can be easily dissolved by the intervention of a thin tube possessing a tiny balloon at its end if it is soft enough.
  • An interventional cardiologist usually operate this apparatus.
  • The balloon is opened to knock out the plaque after placing the tube into the artery and resurrect the artery to improve blood flow.
  • This procedure is called as angioplasty.
  • Rotablation or rotational atherectomy is done when the plaque is too hard to be pushed aside by angioplasty.
  • The plague become extremely rigid and hard because of the build up of calcium in the artery walls for a prolonged period of time.

Preparation for Rotablation:

  • You will be asked to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • All of your usual medications should be taken unless instructed otherwise by your cardiologist.

Procedure for Rotablation:

  • Rotational Atherectomy or Rotablation involves insertion of a small drill for the treatment of coronary artery disease.
  • It is a is a safe and extensively used technique.
  • A small rotating cutting blade is involved in this procedure which is used to open a blocked artery and revamp the flow of blood to or from the heart.
  • A stent which is a tiny tube composed of metal mesh is often inserted in the artery to keep it from re-narrowing
  • A small device known as rotablator is used when the plague becomes too hard and calcified for an angioplasty balloon to widen the artery open.
  • It is also known as diamond rotor as one of its end presents a burr coated in diamond dust.
  • A  long thin catheter will be inserted into an artery in the groin or wrist under local anaesthetic.
  • The catheter will be moved up the inside of the artery until it reaches the heart and  a small amount of dye will be injected into the catheter when it is in place.
  • X-rays will be taken when the dye travels through the coronary arteries.
  • A specially designed burr is used to remove the blockage.
  • The area is stretched using balloon angioplasty once the drill head has been drawn into the concerned artery. 
  • High pressure balloons are employed for the stents to fully expand in many cases.
  • Drug-eluting stents are implanted after this as these stents release a drug over time to keep blockage of the artery from recurring and ensures satisfactory treatment results over the long term.
  • The rotablator operates by drilling through the hardened plaque, breaking it up into tiny pieces which will be safely picked up by the bloodstream of the body and eventually eliminates them.
  • A narrowing in a coronary artery will be bore out in this procedure which might not otherwise respond to stenting.