Shockwave therapy is used for breaking up calcium deposits in both coronary and peripheral arteries.
It uses a new application of lithotripsy, an innovative technology that uses high frequency focused ultrasonic waves to break up the calcium. This intravascular lithotripsy, or IVL, technology uses ultrasonic pressure waves to break up or fracture the problematic calcium. Following lithotripsy, a stent can then be more safely and fully deployed to restore the artery to its normal diameter.
The fractured calcium stays within the walls of the blood vessel, and does not “shower” calcium particles downstream, which would plug up smaller branch vessels. Instead, fracturing the calcium softens it up just like a jack hammer would fracture and soften up a slab of concrete. This makes the blood vessel much more compliant or pliable, allowing for full balloon inflation and stent deployment.
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