The Investor’s Business Daily says that a system from FoxHollow Technologies, Inc, designed for treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), allows a surgeon to “insert the catheter tube device through a small incision into an artery. When the catheter reaches a blockage, a switch activates a small blade that rotates 8,000 times a minute. Surgeons then slide the catheter along the length of the lesion, shaving away built up plaque the way a carpenter planes down a block of wood. The device is disposable, one per operation.”
The company provides further details about its technology:
The SilverHawk™ Plaque Excision System consists of two components: a low-profile catheter and a palm sized drive unit. All device functionality is controlled by a single on/off thumb-switch that resides on the drive unit. A tiny blade on the tip of the catheter rotates when activated and removes the plaque from the arterial wall. After each pass, the cutter extends through the nosecone to pack the tissue and maximize the storage capacity of the collection chamber.
Precise and Predictable
Through a unique patented hinge design, the carbide blade is exposed at a fixed height during the procedure. This fixed height ensures thin shavings of plaque that are easily stored in the nosecone of the device. The carbide blade is also radiopaque and allows the physician to determine whether the collection chamber is full. The SilverHawk’s platinum housing and torque system provides clear visualization of cutter positioning during the procedure…
Massive Tissue Capture
The SilverHawk is the first technology of its kind to remove significant amounts of atherosclerotic tissue from long, diffusely diseased lesions. When the nosecone is full, the device can be removed, cleaned and re-inserted again to treat additional areas within the same lesion or additional lesions. The device consistently removes hundreds of milligrams of tissue to restore blood flow.
Luminal Gain without Barotrauma
Due to its unique mechanical design, the catheter excises significant amounts of plaque without overstretching and injuring the vessel wall. Vessel overstretch, known as barotrauma, can lead to a dissection or perforation of the artery.