What is it?
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), is commonly known as angioplasty or stenting, is performed as part of a heart catherization procedure.
This is a non-surgical procedure that uses a catheter (a thin flexible tube), to place a small metal scaffold called a stent, to open up blood vessels in the heart.
It may be done as an inpatient procedure when the patient is admitted with chest pain or similar symptoms. It can also be a scheduled outpatient procedure when the doctor deems it necessary based on symptoms or test results.
Most of the time a diagnostic angiogram is performed which helps the doctor to decide whether to proceed with the PCI. At other times it may be medically necessary to finish the diagnostic procedure and perform the PCI later as a separate procedure.
The doctor has several modalities of treatment that can be employed to open up the blockage, most commonly it is a balloon that is inflated in the lesion. In most instances, once the blood vessel has opened up, a stent is placed to provide scaffolding and more durable results.
Commonly used modalities for treating arterial blockage include:
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Cutting Balloon Angioplasty
- Rotational Atherectomy
- LASER Ablation
- Stenting (Bare-metal stenting)
- Drug-Eluting Stenting (DES)