Coronary Angioplasty (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or stents)

Sometimes called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), balloon angioplasty is an invasive procedure that restores blood flow to a narrowed artery. In this procedure, your doctor will thread a catheter with a small balloon on the end to the affected artery. Once it’s in place, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque narrowing the artery, which will restore blood flow. Many people who undergo this procedure also have a small coil of mesh called a stent placed in the blocked artery to support the walls and prevent it from narrowing again. This procedure requires up to a day of recovery time in a special care unit, though many people go home the same day. You may also need cardiac rehabilitation after this procedure.