What is a Orbital Atherectomy?

Orbital atherectomy is the newest atherectomy procedure. It is similar to rotational atherectomy in that it abrades plaque using an abrasive burr. Also like rotational atherectomy, the grit size and high rotational speed of orbital atherectomy devices makes the tissue debris small enough to pass through the circulatory system harmlessly, minimizing the potential for distal embolic complications.

Orbital devices have key differences from rotational devices, including:

  • Location of the burr on a coil consisting of three helically-wound wires
  • Orbital path of the device around the periphery of the lumen. This orbital motion allows the burr to attack the plaque as it moves in a specific direction, in contrast to the burr of a rotational device, which remains in one place

Ability of the physician to control the amount of plaque to be removed by varying the rotational speed with more blood flow and cooling capability than found with rotational devices.

At Greater Pittsburgh Vascular Associates, we use the Diamondback 360°® Orbital Atherectomy Device, the most advanced orbital atherectomy technology, developed by Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.