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Atherectomy Risks -- No Reflow

Clip Number: 31 of 38
Presentation: Atherectomy
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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There are many reasons for decreased blood flow through a coronary artery, such as blockage, blood clots, or a spasm of the blood vessel. These can occur during or after this procedure. However, sometimes you can experience a decrease in blood flow through a coronary artery without evidence of these more common causes. This is called No Reflow.
The true occurrence and exact reason that this complication occurs is unknown. Just like other complications that result in a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle, No Reflow can result in a heart attack.
Your doctor has several options to treat No Reflow; yet the success of these treatments vary with the individual.
No Reflow may require your doctor to put in a temporary pacemaker. A pacemaker is a commonly used life-saving device that tells your heart when to beat. The pacemaker is usually removed before the procedure is over. Pacemaker wires may cause a higher risk of infection and may tear a part of the heart.
It is also possible that an intra-aortic balloon pump may need to be placed in the event that the condition cannot be treated with medication. This pump simply increases the pressure in your arteries so blood can be pumped more effectively.

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