Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

What is a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)?

Also known as coronary angioplasty, PCI is a non-surgical procedure that:

  • Corrects clogged arteries and plaque build-up
  • Improve blood flow to the heart

The procedure is similar to 'regular' balloon angioplasty, or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).

During a PCI, your doctor will insert a small balloon catheter into your blocked artery and inflate it to widen the artery. A stent or small wire mesh is usually inserted to keep the artery from narrowing after the balloon is removed.

Why do you need PCI?

PCI is performed to open coronary arteries that are narrowed or blocked by the build-up of atherosclerotic plaque.

By restoring blood flow, PCI improves symptoms of blocked arteries, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Besides relieving symptoms of coronary heart disease, it also reduces heart damage during or after a heart attack.

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