Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary Angioplasty - What it is

Coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI, is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure used to open narrowed arteries.

illustration heart stent

It involves the use of a flexible catheter with a balloon at the tip which is inflated at high pressure on the narrowed arterial wall. Usually a stent (metallic wire mesh) will be placed in the artery after angioplasty. This will force the arterial plaque against the blood vessel and improve the blood flow to the heart muscle.

Coronary angioplasty is associated with a relatively lower risk and faster recovery than coronary bypass surgery, an open heart surgery. However, the artery can narrow again despite the stent.

How is the procedure done​?

The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. A small puncture is made, usually in the groin, wrist or elbow. A sheath is inserted into the opening and a guiding catheter is placed through the sheath into the blood vessel. Contrast is injected through the catheter so that the doctor can see the arteries on the X-ray screen. 

Once the catheter reached the narrowed artery, the doctor will position the balloon within the blocked section of the artery. The balloon is then inflated to squash the blockage so that blood flow can be restored to normal.

Coronary Angioplasty - Symptoms

Coronary Angioplasty - How to prevent?

Coronary Angioplasty - Causes and Risk Factors

Coronary Angioplasty - Diagnosis

Coronary Angioplasty - Treatments

Coronary Angioplasty - Preparing for surgery

Coronary Angioplasty - Post-surgery care

Coronary Angioplasty - Other Information

Before the Procedure

You are required to go for pre-admission testing which includes: 

You will be asked if you have any allergic reactions to medicines or food, especially to X-ray contrast or iodine compounds. You are advised to inform the doctor of your allergies.

Day of the Procedure

You should try and get a good night’s sleep. Mild sedation may be prescribed by your doctor.

You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything for a period of at least six hours before the procedure.

After the Procedure

You will be nursed in the High Dependency Unit (HDU), Intermediate Care Area (ICA) or in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), where you will be observed for bleeding, heart rhythm disturbances and complications that may occur in the period immediately following the coronary angioplasty.

A nurse will frequently check your pulse, blood pressure, and observe the procedure site for bleeding. Patients are usually discharged from the hospital within two to four days.

Watch our video on coronary angioplasty:


Related Health Articles

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation & Preventive Cardiology (CVR & PC) Programme

You are encouraged to attend the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation & Preventive Cardiology Programme after your coronary angioplasty procedure. The programme will enable, encourage and assist you on the road to recovery.

For more information on our programme, click here.

Discover articles,videos, and guides afrom Singhealth's resources across the web. These information are collated, making healthy living much easier for everyone.