Elective and emergency treatments for blocked coronary arteries

If you have a severe blockage in one or more arteries, you may benefit from an angioplasty, also known as  percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or revascularization.

stent angioplasty illustration An angioplasty can:

  • Improve blood flow to your heart
  • Relieve chest pain
  • May be able to prevent a heart attack

An angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. During angioplasty, a thin tube with a balloon on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque that is blocking your artery against the artery wall. This widens the artery and restores the flow of blood.

A thin wire mesh tube called a stent may be placed in the artery permanently to keep the artery open. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep the artery open.

An angioplasty is done in the hospital and can take from 30 minutes to three hours. It is done under local anesthesia to numb the area of the groin where the catheter is inserted. Afterwards, you must remain in bed for at least another six hours. You may be able to go home the same day, but more often you will need to spend the night in the hospital.

Round-the-Clock PTCA

The CVI's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory offers elective angioplasty, such as stenting, as well as round-the-clock availability of primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a common procedure to reopen clogged or damaged coronary arteries.

Our physicians routinely perform PTCAs within 90 minutes or less, from notification of a heart attack to open artery. Time to treatment is the most important factor in ensuring bester results after heart attach. Our results are among the best in the country for achievement of that goal. In conjunction with the MedFlight medical helicopter service and ground transport, similar times are achieved for patients from community hospitals in Boston and within the Route 495 loop.