Coronary angioplasty and stenting (also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI) refers to a procedure where a blocked or narrowed coronary is opened or widened with balloons or stents.
Coronary angioplasty and stenting (also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI) is a procedure where a blocked or narrowed coronary is opened or widened with balloons or stents. The widened artery improves the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, which keeps the muscle alive and decreases angina.
Learn more about angioplasty and stenting.
What is angioplasty?
The angioplasty procedure starts exactly the same as a coronary angiogram, with the insertion of a catheter in the artery of the groin or wrist. While an angiogram is just to diagnose the state of the coronary arteries, angioplasty is the procedure which actually dilates the narrowed portions of the arteries.
A very thin wire is passed through the catheter and through the narrowed or blocked portion of the artery. A balloon is then passed over the wire and positioned inside the narrowed portion. The balloon is inflated, which pushes the plaque away, and widens the inside of the artery.
What is stenting?
Coronary stenting is often done in addition to balloon angioplasty as research shows that arteries will stay open longer with stents. The stent comes crimped on to a balloon, which is passed to the narrowed area in the same way as a plain balloon.
When the stent balloon is inflated, the stent expands and gets pushed into the wall of the artery. The balloon is then deflated and removed out of the body. The stent stays there to help hold the wall of the artery open.
What is the preparation for angioplasty and stenting?
Download our Having a Heart Catheterization and Possible Treatment Booklet for information on how to prepare for your procedure.