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Although healthcare providers don’t have a standard treatment for coronary artery calcification, some are using intravascular lithotripsy to treat severe cases. This newer procedure uses a catheter (tube) with a device at the end that sends pressure waves out to make the calcification come apart. After the procedure, your provider can put in a stent (small metal tube) to keep your artery open.

Other treatments to improve artery blood flow:

  • Rotational, orbital or laser atherectomy to cut plaque and calcium out of your artery.
  • Cutting, scoring or high-pressure balloon angioplasty to push plaque with calcium against your artery walls.

Complications of the treatment

  • Intravascular lithotripsy complications may include:
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).
  • Aneurysm, or a blood vessel that’s stretched out.
  • Bleeding complications.
  • Stroke.
  • Death.

Rotational atherectomy complications may include:

  • Artery dissection.
  • Heart attack.
  • Death.
  • Emergency coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).

Coronary angioplasty complications may include:

  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm).
  • Bleeding.
  • Blood clots.


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