Percutaneous Coronary Intervention at Medical City Plano

Medical City Plano’s cardiology experts offer percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is also called coronary angioplasty, and the procedure is similar to a cardiac catheterization. The goal of a PCI is to open up a clogged artery by inserting and blowing up a tiny balloon. This helps widen the artery that is affected.

Preparation

Prior to a PCI, discuss any questions you have with your doctor. Be sure you talk about all medications you are using, since you may need to stop taking some of them temporarily.

What to Expect

During a PCI, you will be awake, but you will be sedated. You will receive medications through an IV throughout the procedure, and you will hear everything that is going on.

The incision area will probably be on your leg or arm, and it will be numbed. Your doctor will make a small incision and insert a catheter into your artery which will be threaded up to the blockage. This process should not be painful, but you may feel pressure.

A dye will be injected through the catheter, and this will help your doctor as he reviews your X-rays on a nearby monitor. Next, a tiny balloon on the end of the catheter will be inflated and will widen the artery that is blocked. For several minutes the balloon will help widen and stretch the artery. Then it will be deflated and removed. If you have more than one blockage, the balloon will be inflated at each area.

During a PCI, you may also have a stent placed in your blocked artery. A stent looks like a coil of wire mesh and it helps prevent the artery from narrowing again.

After the procedure, you will likely stay in the hospital overnight so your heart can be monitored. It is important when you return home that you drink lots of fluids and avoid lifting heavy objects. After approximately a week, you should be able to return to work or other normal activities. Talk to your doctor about any restrictions that are specific to your daily life.

Make sure you understand all the medications you are to take after a PCI. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your cardiologist.