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embolectomy


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n. surgical removal of an embolus in order to relieve arterial obstruction. The embolus may be removed by cutting directly into the affected artery (arteriotomy). In some instances it is removed by a balloon catheter, which is manipulated beyond the embolus from a small arteriotomy in an accessible artery. The catheter is then withdrawn carrying the embolus with it. In some cases of pulmonary embolism, embolectomy may be life saving. It may also prevent gangrene in cases of a limb artery embolus.

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