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Bleeding Problems With Atherectomy

Although these situations are rare, bleeding problems with an atherectomy can occur. Most of the time, these complications are temporary and resolve themselves, or your healthcare provider can easily fix the problem. However, some bleeding issues are more serious. Possible bleeding problems with atherectomy range from abnormal tissue connections that form between the artery and vein to blood clots to continued bleeding.

Bleeding Problems With Atherectomy From Blood-Thinning Medicine

It is important to know that any time you are placed on blood-thinning medication, as you will be during an atherectomy, there is an increased risk for bleeding problems. Bleeding problems can be as minor as unexplained nosebleeds or bruising, or they can be major, and include serious internal bleeding or a stroke. Your doctor will routinely check your blood's ability to clot in order to minimize the risk of these complications developing.

Bleeding Problems With Atherectomy From Blood Vessel Injury

Injuries to blood vessels, especially at the incision site, are among the most common problems during an atherectomy. These can include:
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to the blood vessel
  • Ongoing bleeding
  • A collection of blood under the skin or in the artery itself
  • Abnormal tissue connections that form between the artery and a vein.
Most of the time, these are temporary problems. For example, a collection of blood below the skin can develop into a tender mass the size of a baseball. The mass will usually disappear in one to two weeks, as the blood gradually spreads out and is reabsorbed by the body. In rare cases, the injuries can require surgery to fix the problem.
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