Atherectomy As the age increases, plaque - a material which is made of cholesterol, fibrous tissue, and calcium can build up on the walls of your arteries. As the more plaque will accumulate, the arteries will become stiffen and narrow. Finally, enough plaque will build up which will result in reducing the blood flow or cause irregularities in the normal smooth walls of the arteries. An atherectomy is a procedure in which the vascular surgeon will insert a specialized catheter into a blocked artery in order to remove a buildup of atherosclerotic plaque from the vessel. The catheter will be containing a sharp rotating blade, laser filament, or grinding bit as well as a collection of the system which permits the surgeon to remove the plaque from the wall of the vessel and suction or collect any resulting debris. Atherectomy is generally used to treat the blockages where the angioplasty and stenting will not be able to perform. This will may lead to a result in anatomical factor, a location of the blockage, the hardness of the plaque, or any other factors. In a more common manner, atherectomy is used as a complement to stenting and angioplasty, removing the significant hard blockages, and also for allowing the insertion of a stent or balloon.