Cardiac Catheterization and PCICall 828.286.5575
Cardiac Catheterization and PCI
Rutherford Regional’s experienced cardiac catheterization team performs procedures using balloons, stents, and other devices to open blocked, or repair damaged blood vessels of the heart or body. This often avoids the need for surgery.
Heart conditions can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, or loss of limbs. Our team can perform cardiac catheterizations to quickly diagnose a number of heart conditions and immediately begin treatment.
Common treatable conditions:
- Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries)
- Heart valve disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
We offer percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or angioplasty to treat blocked arteries caused by coronary artery disease. A PCI restores blood flow to the heart without open heart surgery.
PCI is used to treat heart attack patients who have a blockage or are suddenly ill, but have not yet had a heart attack
Interventional procedures are done under a local anesthetic and patient recovery is usually less than 24 hours. Patients are often home within two days of the procedure and back to their normal routine within one week. Interventional services can be performed during a cardiac catheterization if a problem is revealed during this diagnostic procedure.
Cardiac Catheterization Lab Procedures:
- Balloon angioplasty
- Cardiac assist devices
- Diagnostic imaging and pressure measurements
- Intra-arterial ultrasound
- Rotational atherectomy
- Stent placement
How PCI Works:
During PCI, a thin catheter with a balloon at the tip is inserted into a vein or artery, in the wrist or groin area. It is guided to the heart where the balloon is inflated in the narrowed or blocked artery, which opens blood flow to the heart immediately.
Depending on the patient’s condition, the procedure can take up to a few hours, and general anesthesia usually isn’t needed for PCI procedures.
Once the blocked area is expanded with the balloon, our interventional cardiologist will insert a stent. A stent is a mesh metal coil that keeps the artery open. Antiplatelet medication may be prescribed after your procedure to prevent clots from forming after a stent is placed.
Using stents to treat heart conditions can significantly improve a person’s quality of life, reducing the risk of heart attack, without the recovery needed from open heart surgery.