Providing acute care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cardiology Services

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries using angioplasty and stent implantation during a heart attack. The procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory on an emergency basis. Once a blocked coronary artery has been located after a cardiac catheterization, a small wire is advanced into the artery and past the blockage. Then, over this wire, a balloon catheter is advanced and the balloon is inflated. By inflating the balloon, the blockage is opened.

A stent is a small metal mesh tube that is secured to a balloon at the end of a delivery catheter. This may also be implanted if your cardiologist determines that it is needed. Once the stent is placed exactly over the blockage, the balloon is inflated, expanding the stent into the wall of the artery. When the balloon is deflated, the stent remains in place permanently. Over time, the lining of the artery wall will grow around the stent as the stent continues to support the vessel.

Elliot Hospital has established relationships with area ambulance services to allow for transmission of electrocardiograms from the ambulance prior to arrival in the Emergency Department. This allows for early activation of the cardiac cath lab team, resulting in quicker transport to the cath lab for this procedure.

After discharge from the hospital, you may need assistance with changes in lifestyle (i.e. smoking cessation, increasing physical activity and improving diet). You will most likely need to take Plavix® for a few months after discharge if a stent has been implanted to prevent artery closure. You may also be prescribed aspirin, cholesterol lowering agents and other medications as determined by your cardiologist. You will require follow-up with the cardiologist to check medication and lifestyle changes.