Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty & Stenting (PTCA)

What is PTCA?


Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is also known as coronary angioplasty. It is a type of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or minimally invasive procedure, to correct clogged arteries.

The procedure opens coronary arteries that have been narrowed or blocked due to the build-up of fatty deposits known as plaque. This restores blood flow to the heart muscle.

Types of PTCA

There are 2 types of PTCA:

  1. Balloon angioplasty uses a thin tube called a catheter, with a deflated balloon at its tip. The catheter may be inserted through a large artery in the leg or the radial artery in the forearm. Once inserted, it is carefully guided to the blocked portion of the artery. The balloon is then inflated to push the accumulated plaque against the walls of the artery, restoring normal blood flow to the heart muscles.
  2. Coronary artery stenting uses a small wire mesh to prevent the blocked artery from re-narrowing after balloon angioplasty. This procedure is also known as coronary stenting.

Why do you need PTCA?

Angioplasty can reduce symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, and enable you to resume normal activity.

Your doctor may recommend PTCA if:

  • You were unable to improve your condition through medication or lifestyle changes.
  • You experience worsening symptoms, such as increased chest pain (angina) or shortness of breath.

Who should not undergo PTCA?

Depending on your condition and overall health, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) instead. You may need CABG if:

  • Your heart muscle is weak.
  • You have diabetes and more than one severe blockage in your arteries.
  • The main artery that supplies blood to the left side of your heart is narrow.

What are the risks and complications of PTCA?

PTCA is a safe procedure, with a low risk of complications. However, like any other surgery, it carries a small risk.

Rare complications include heart attack, stroke and kidney injury due to the contrast dye. In general, the risk of rare complications is less than 1%.

This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

Need help?

For appointment bookings, please Whatsapp
+65 8198 7777

For clinic or corporate matters, please call
+65 6227 7777