The method for resolving atherosclerotic plaque buildup and/or eroding unwanted tissue in a blood vessel includes the steps of: inserting an electrode in and along the lumen of a blood vessel; manually manipulating said electrode through the blood vessel; positioning said electrode proximate to atherosclerotic plaque buildup site or unwanted tissue site in the blood vessel; supplying a predetermined high-frequency, high-voltage electrical current to said electrode; maintaining said predetermined current for a predetermined time period; and sensing from time to time, the amount of plaque or unwanted tissue at the site.
The electrosurgical plaque-resolving or tissue-eroding device is adapted to be inserted within and along the lumen of a blood vessel and manipulated therethrough to a desired position where the device is operated to resolve atherosclerotic plaque buildup or erode tissue in the blood vessel according to the method to re-establish desired blood flow through the blood vessel or to remove tissue therefrom. The device comprises an elongate flexible hollow tubular body having a distal end and a proximal end. A hollow tip member is mounted at the distal end of the flexible hollow tubular body and an electrode is associated with the hollow tip member for resolving plaque or eroding tissue. A power supply circuit for supplying a high-frequency, high-voltage electrical current to the electrode is coupled to the electrode. A mechanism for sensing, from time to time, the amount of plaque or tissue at the site in the blood vessel is also provided with the device.