What is Percutaneous Coronary Intervention?
PCI is a minimally invasive procedure to open blocked or narrow coronary arteries, allowing blood to circulate unobstructed to the heart muscle.
What happens during the procedure?
- You may be given medication to relax you, but you will stay awake.
- You lie on a table near an X-ray camera and other equipment.
- Your doctor numbs a spot either groin or arm and inserts a small tube(catheter) into an artery and up into the heart.
- The catheter is guided to the artery that is narrowed; a wire is inserted through the narrowing.
- Once the wire is in place a balloon is passed over the wire into narrowing and inflated for a few seconds to compress the blockage against the artery wall.
- A stent is then passed over the wire and positioned in the same area, this stent prevents the coronary artery from narrowing.
What might I feel?
- Slight pressure as the catheter is put in.
- Rarely some chest discomfort as fluid is injected.
- An urge to urinate
- Hot flush
- Rarely nausea
What happens after the test?
- The catheter will be taken out.
- A nurse will apply pressure for 10 minutes where the catheter was inserted.
- You will be asked to lie in bed for several hours. Either flat or sitting up depending on access point of catheter.
- You will feel sore where catheter was inserted.
- You will be taking blood thinning medication for 6-12months (Clopidogrel/Aspirin). This medication should not be stopped by anyone other than heart specialist.
- Your doctor will talk to you about your results.
Speak to our Doctors at Newcastle heart about treatment options that may benefit you.