A Patient’s Guide to PCI
If you have coronary artery disease in Phoenix , percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, is one treatment option your heart doctor may suggest. This non-surgical procedure widens narrowed arteries to improve blood flow. If you have been referred for a PCI, here is what you should expect.
What Happens During the Procedure?
PCIs are usually performed on an outpatient basis. You will be awake for the procedure but will receive a local anesthetic plus medication to help you relax. Your heart doctor will insert a small, flexible wire into an artery in the arm or groin and then place a sheath—or a tapered tube—over the wire. Next, a guiding catheter is placed over the sheath and then guided towards a coronary artery. The guide wire is removed when the catheter is in place. Your heart doctor will then inject dye into your artery via the catheter to identify blockages. A balloon catheter, with or without a stent, is then guided to the area of the blockage and inflated to keep the artery open and improve blood flow. If your doctor uses a stent, it will remain in place in your artery after the balloon has been deflated and removed.
What Is the Recovery Like?
In most cases, you will be able to go home a few hours after your procedure. Your heart doctor will tell you how much activity is safe for you as you recover and what medications to take. You may need to start anti-platelet medications after a PCI. Most patients return to normal activities within a week of having a PCI. You may also need to make lifestyle changes to help control your future heart disease risk.
Who Should Consider PCI?
PCI treats coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease. Your doctor will recommend this procedure for you to improve angina symptoms and cut your chances of a heart attack.
If you have heart disease, learn more about your treatment options by scheduling a consultation at Cardiac Solutions. Our cardiologists offer a comprehensive range of treatments for a variety of heart conditions. Make your appointment now by calling (623) 876-8816.