Excimer Laser Coronary Atherectomy (ELCA)

This is a way we remove plaque that's blocking a coronary artery. The coronary arteries are tiny blood vessels that provide blood to your heart tissue. Clearing a blockage lets your heart get the blood it needs to work properly.


To begin, we give you medicine to make you feel relaxed and numb. Now, we need to reach your blocked coronary artery. To do this, we start at your groin or upper thigh to access a large blood vessel called the "femoral artery." We insert a tube called a "catheter" into this vessel. We carefully guide the catheter to your heart and to the opening of your blocked coronary artery. Then, we inject some dye so we can see the blockage on an X-ray.

Removing the blockage

Now it's time to clear the artery. For this, we use a thin laser device. We aim the laser at the blockage. Pulses of high-energy ultraviolet light vaporize the plaque blockage.

End of procedure

When we're finished, we pull out the catheter. We bandage your skin, and you are watched closely. Your doctor will tell you when you can go home. Follow your care plan for a safe recovery.