Blockages that build-up in the arteries can lead to serious heart problems, including heart attack. The Heart & Vascular Institute of Texas offers interventional cardiology services to open blocked arteries using minimally invasive methods known as percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI).
Our interventional cardiologists can use PCI on an emergency basis – when a patient is experiencing a heart attack to open a blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart – or during a scheduled procedure to open blocked arteries before they cause a heart attack.
During PCI, long thin tubes are threaded through the patient’s body and into the coronary arteries using advanced imaging. Through these tubes, a smaller tube carrying a balloon is guided into the coronary arteries, and once at a blockage, the balloon is inflated pressing the obstructing plaque against the walls of the coronary artery.
To keep the artery open, an expandable device called a stent is threaded through the catheter and deployed at the site of the blockage.