Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) — also known as an angioplasty procedure — is a routine surgery to check coronary arteries for fatty plaque buildups that might cause chest pain or put you at risk for a heart attack.
A coronary stent is a tube placed in a person’s arteries to help improve blood flow by stabilizing the arterial walls. Surgeons often use stenting during angioplasty procedures (PCI).
Your specialist from the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute will perform PCI by using a long tube, called a catheter.
During your procedure, your doctor will:
If necessary, your doctor may inflate the balloon several times, or in several places, depending on your blockages.
In many cases, a stent is also placed to hold your artery open. A stent is a small tube made of metal mesh that is placed in an artery to help improve blood flow by stabilizing the arterial walls.
Once your procedure is complete, your doctor will remove the catheters and wires and place a bandage on your puncture site.
During your recovery after angioplasty, you may lie flat for several hours to make sure your blood vessel heals all the way. In most cases, you’ll stay in the hospital overnight.
Once you are able to go home, your doctor will give you information about:
While typical PCI patients are kept overnight for monitoring, at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, we understand that people recover most comfortably in their own homes. We now offer some patients the opportunity to go home the same day after PCI.
Following a strict set of standards, we check whether you are at low risk to start with. If so, we monitor you after PCI and — in some cases — we can discharge you within hours after the procedure.
Some benefits of same-day discharge include:
For the safety of eligible same-day discharge patients, we provide an on-call phone number that we answer 24 hours a day. We encourage patients to call should they have any questions.
We follow up with patients 24 hours post-procedure in order to check on their results. Patients are free to return to non-physical labor 24 hours post-treatment and physical labor 48 hours post-treatment.
To find out if you are a candidate for same-day PCI discharge, please talk to your doctor.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
“...Our goal is to make sure that your experience is comfortable, pleasant, and gets you to the point where you want to be — having a high quality of life and going home as quickly as is reasonably possible. And, in the ideal situation, that’s the same-day discharge where we know that you’ll do as well at home as you would do in the hospital.”
— Dr. Conrad Smith, Cardiologist at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
From our Health Library at UPMC.com