Advanced Heart & Vascular Care
Angioplasty and related techniques are known as percutaneous coronary intervention
(PCI). Angioplasty is a procedure in which a narrowed section of the coronary
artery is dilated with a balloon catheter. Angioplasty is less invasive
and has a shorter recovery time than bypass surgery, which is also done
to increase blood flow to the heart muscle but requires open-heart surgery.
Most of the time stents are placed during angioplasty.
After sedation, a thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through an
artery in the groin or arm and carefully guided up the aorta into the
blocked coronary artery. Cardiac catheterization, also called coronary
angiography, is performed first to identify any blockages.
After angioplasty, you will be moved to our holding area or to the post
coronary care unit. Your heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure will be
closely monitored and the catheter insertion site checked for bleeding.
You will have a large bandage or a compression device at your groin and
the catheter insertion site to prevent bleeding. You will be instructed
to keep your leg straight if the insertion site is at your groin.
You usually can start walking within 12 to 24 hours after angioplasty.
The average hospital stay is 1 to 2 days for uncomplicated procedures.
You may resume exercise and driving after several days.