Invasive cardiology at the CVPH Heart Center encompasses a wide range of treatments performed through less invasive - or percutaneous - procedures. As technologies and techniques continue to rapidly advance, our patients benefit from the use of less invasive procedures as a replacement for traditional surgery.
Angioplasty or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, encompasses a variety of procedures used to treat patients with diseased arteries of the heart including chest pain caused by a build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances from the blood (referred to as plaque) that can reduce blood flow to a near trickle, or lead to a heart attack caused by a large blood clot that completely blocks the artery.
Typically, PCI is performed by threading a slender balloon-tipped tube – a catheter – from an artery in the groin to a trouble spot in an artery of the heart (this is referred to as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty – also known as PTCA, coronary artery balloon dilation or balloon angioplasty). The balloon is then inflated, compressing the plaque and dilating (widening) the narrowed coronary artery so that blood can flow more easily. This is often accompanied by inserting an expandable metal stent. Stents are wire mesh tubes used to prop open arteries after PTCA.
Patients may benefit from angiplasty to:
- Greatly increase blood flow through the blocked artery
- Decrease chest pain (angina)
- Increase ability for physical activity
- Reduce risk of a heart attack