An atherectomy is a procedure to remove plaque from an artery (blood vessel). Removing plaque makes the artery wider, so blood can flow more freely to the heart muscles.

This procedure is used to treat peripheral artery disease and coronary artery disease. An atherectomy is sometimes performed on patients with very hard plaque or on patients who have already had angioplasty and stents, but who still have plaque blocking the flow of blood.