Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is a procedure used to unblock coronary arteries.  It is very similar to a coronary angiogram in that a tube is placed in the top of the leg and a catheter inserted via that tube up to the coronary arteries.  In PCI, a small wire is passed down the artery and a small balloon is then used to unblock the artery.  Once a balloon has made a passage, a coronary stent (a small metal cage) is put into the artery (all through the same catheter) to scaffold it open.