Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA), sometimes called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or simply angioplasty, is a procedure in which a balloon attached to a guide wire is used to widen the opening within arteries to reduce or eliminate blockages and allow blood to flow more easily. Often done in lieu of open-heart surgery, the procedure also often involves the placement of a tiny mesh tube called a stent in the artery to support the opening and reduce the risk of narrowing again.  In some cases, stents that have a medicated coating are used to further reduce the risk of narrowing over time. A special type of X-ray process called fluoroscopy, which uses an injected contrast dye that moves through the coronary arteries, is used to help the doctor locate the blockages.

UAB Interventional Cardiology is an internationally recognized leader in cardiac services, combining compassionate, innovative patient care with the most advanced technology and basic and clinical research. The program makes use of catheterization, stenting, angioplasty, and other minimally invasive interventional treatments to unblock clogged arteries.

UAB is one of the first heart centers in the nation to use a new procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention of chronic total occlusion, which allows many patients to avoid bypass surgery.

Interventional Cardiology provides both inpatient and outpatient consultative care at UAB Hospital and at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital. The UAB Heart and Vascular Center, located in UAB Hospital’s North Pavilion, is one of the largest centers of its kind in the Southeast, encompassing 55,000 square feet. It also is among the first of its kind to integrate multiple services including electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, neuro-interventional radiology, pediatric cardiology, and vascular interventional radiology.


Rick Vinson | Cardiac Rehab
Rick Vinson | Cardiac Rehab
After two heart attacks and ten stents, Rick Vinson made significant strides toward a heart healthy lifestyle with help from UAB’s Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.
Sarah Ford | Heart surgery at UAB
Sarah’s Heart
When Sarah Ford found out she needed heart surgery, she made the drive from her home in Dothan to Birmingham to receive treatment at UAB. The experienced surgeons, compassionate staff, and cutting-edge care at UAB made her feel secure and safe.

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