A rotational atherectomy is a type of interventional coronary procedure to help open coronary arteries blocked with calcified material and restore blood flow to the heart. This procedure utilizes a high-speed rotational "burr" that is coated with microscopic diamond particles. It rotates at high speed (approximately 200,000 rpm), breaking up blockages into very small fragments (smaller than red blood cells), which can pass harmlessly into the blood circulation. Angioplasty and stenting are often performed after rotational atherectomy to improve the results.
Extraction atherectomy is a procedure done to open a partially blocked blood vessel to the heart so that blood can flow through it more easily. The procedure removes fat and calcium buildup (atherosclerosis) in the heart's arteries. During the procedure, a thin flexible tube (a catheter) is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and carefully guided into the coronary artery that is narrowed. Once the tube reaches the narrowed portion of the artery, a cutting device, whirling blade (such as rotational atherectomy) or a laser beam can be used to remove the cholesterol and calcium buildup from the artery wall.
Read more about coronary atherectomy.