A 54-year old patient recently underwent a successful cardiac procedure at Wockhardt Hospital, Nashik, in which the Rotablator technique was used to remove the plaque from the blocked artery.

The procedure carried out by eminent cardiologist, Dr. Kirti Punamiya, along with a team of doctors from Wockhardt Hospital, Nashik comprising three cardiologists, Dr. Ashutosh Sahu, Dr. Rajendra Deshmukh, Dr. Suresh Suryawanshi and cardiac surgeon, Dr. Rahul Kaiche.

According to Dr Punamiya, In about 30 percent of blockages, especially in the elderly and diabetic group, the heart arteries become very hard due to deposition of calcium. At times, the calcification in the arteries is highly severe, making it NOT suitable for routine angioplasty and stenting procedures.

For such patients, it is the Rotablator technique that proves to be useful in removing the plaque from the blocked artery. The Rotablator equipment is a driller of a size smaller than a rice grain and rotates at two lakh(2,00,000) rotations per minute(RPM). This equipment is introduced inside the blocked artery and this grinds to dust the plaque which is blocking the blood supply to the heart.

About 1.5-8 percent of procedures for de-blocking the arteries worldwide are now done using the Rotablator technique, depending on the expertise available at the various hospitals where it is done.

The Rotablator procedure is used when:

  • The plaque is too difficult to flatten against artery wall by stenting
  • The calcium deposit is too large
  • The plaque is where the artery begins
  • There is too much plaque which means it needs to be removed with rotablator and further procedures are carried out
  • The artery itself is small for other procedures


Referring to the case at Wockhardt Hospital, Nashik, Dr. Punamiya further said that the patient had undergone various routine techniques for the treatment of his blocked artery, but there was no success. This made the case challenging and he was finally treated by use of the Rotablator technique.


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