Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is a non-surgical yet invasive procedure that will relieve the blockage of the blood flow in the arteries supplying your heart.
Why do my coronary arteries get blocked?
The arteries that supply blood to your heart are called the coronary arteries. A good blood flow is needed via these arteries to ensure your heart is functioning efficiently and pumping blood to all your other organs.
However, sometimescholesterol and other substances form plaques in the walls of the coronary arteriesand clog them interrupting the blood flow. These plaques can rupture can attract platelets which leads to a clot in the coronary artery.
This disease process is called Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and is seen in those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The symptoms can range from chest pain during exertion to more devastating consequences like myocardial infarction (MI), or simply put, a heart attack.
What is PCI?
The main goal of PCI is to restore the blood supply to the heart by removing the block in the coronary artery. This is achieved by different methods, the most common being ballooning the narrowed segment or using a stent to keep the artery open.
Who needs this?
Primary PCI is the recommended treatment for MI if performed promptly by experienced operators. It reduces mortality by over 50%. PCI is also recommended for certain patients in the early stages of coronary artery disease.
How is it done?
Before a PCI you must take drugs like aspirin and clopidogrel that prevent platelets from gathering over ruptured plaques. All arteries come from the main artery leaving the heart, the aorta. Therefore, your doctor will gain access to an artery in your leg called the femoral artery, and using a guidewire and constant visualization via x-rays, he/she will trace it back to the aorta.
Once in the aorta, contrast material is injected to identify the coronary arteries. Any narrowing of the arteries is seen as a filling defect. Then your doctor will introduce a balloon near the narrowed segment and inflate it to reopen the artery. If necessary, a stent is introduced to keep the artery open.
What is door-to-balloon time?
The all-important door-to-balloon (D2B) time is the time taken between a patient’s arrival to balloon inflation during the procedure. It is a measure used to improve the timing of PCI in patients with MI. Studies show those with a shorter D2B time have an improved in-hospital mortality rate whereas those with a longer D2B time show a poorer outcome.
Studies show a 3.0%, 4.2%, 5.7%, and 7.4% mortality for D2B time of less than or equal to 90 minutes, 91 to 120 minutes, 121 to 150 minutes, and greater than 150 minutes, respectively.
Why choose our hospital?
Our hospital takes 40 minutes D2B, the fastest in the city thanks to our team of symbiosis hospitals. Hence, we assure you of the best care in case of an unfortunate event.
In conclusion, MI is a devastating event that can occur in those with coronary artery disease and the treatment is PCI. For PCI to be effective, the D2B time should be as short as possible. Our hospital provides the shortest D2B time in the city and can offer you the optimum care in case of an emergency.