Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

What is Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)?

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) also referred to as coronary angioplasty, is a procedure used to improve blood and oxygen supply to the heart. It is a minimally invasive procedure used to restore missing or blocked blood flow to the heart by widening the walls of the coronary artery with a catheter. The procedure is done with local anaesthesia, without any large incisions needed. It is done through the use of a catheter, and a device called a coronary stent; the stent is inserted into the artery, and once in place, it helps to keep the artery open.

Benefits of PCI

PCI offers several benefits over open-heart bypass surgery:

  • It is less invasive, with minimal risk of complications
  • Recovery time is shorter, typically 1-2 days
  • May be performed on an outpatient basis
  • The risk of death or stroke is lower than that of bypass surgery
  • The procedure is less costly than coronary bypass surgery

Risks Associated with PCI

Although PCI can be a safe and effective way to treat heart disease, there are some risks involved, including:

  • Bleeding at the catheter insertion site
  • Arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms
  • A tear or perforation of the artery wall
  • A build-up of plaque near the stent
  • Infection
  • Restenosis, or the narrowing of the artery over time


PCI is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat coronary artery disease, with many advantages over open-heart bypass surgery. However, it is not without risks, and must be discussed with your doctor to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.