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Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

How the Procedure Works

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery PCI is a relatively non-invasive procedure for treating symptoms of certain degrees of CAD. More than 1 million PCI procedures are performed in the U.S. each year.12 Following PCI, patients usually spend only one or two nights in the hospital and may return to work within a few days. PCI may be performed at the time a patient undergoes an angiogram, which determines the extent of the CAD. However, your angiogram should be reviewed by your entire heart team prior to the placement of a stent to ensure that is the right treatment for you.

  • The most common PCI procedure involves threading a balloon-tipped catheter from an artery in the groin to the narrowed portion of the coronary artery. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque and create a larger opening for blood flow. This portion of PCI is called balloon angioplasty.13
  • A stent is then placed to help keep the vessel wall open. The use of stents has significantly improved the safety of PCI.14

PCI versus CABG considerations15 16 17

  • Benefits
  • Risks