Coronary angioplasty is an operation which widens arteries that have narrowed through heart disease. A long tube or catheter is inserted into a large artery, in your wrist (radial) or groin (femoral). This tube goes up or down to the artery near your heart which is blocked. A small balloon is blown up on the end of the tube to inflate the artery. A stent is then inserted into the coronary artery, opening it up and allowing the blood to flow more easily to the heart.
What is percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)?
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is simply an alternative name for coronary angioplasty using a stent.
What is a stent?
A stent is a tiny cylindrical mesh wire which is inserted into a blocked artery. Once it is in the correct place, it expands, keeping the artery open and ensuring good blood flow to the heart. Most stents are coated in medication which prevents scar tissue from building up in the gaps, helping to further reduce the risk of the artery re-narrowing over time.