Angioplasty / PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)
What is PCI?
Angioplasty and Stenting are part of a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI. The PCI Procedure is performed to improve the blood flow from the arteries of the heart to the heart muscle.
What does PCI involve?
A thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery or vein either in the wrist or groin. A small wire is inserted through this into the heart artery. A tube with a balloon tip is inserted over the wire and placed where the artery narrows. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery then it is deflated and removed. A stent is usually inserted during PCI, this is a small mesh tube made of metal which is mounted onto a balloon and as the balloon is expanded the stent is expanded and locks open to widen the artery and stays in place like scaffolding. Once the stent is implanted it stays in permanently. More than one stent may be inserted during the procedure.