Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

A percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as an angioplasty with stent, is a non-surgical procedure designed to open up blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed by the buildup of a sticky material called plaque. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. The PCI process involves the use of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, with a balloon on the end. The catheter is inserted into the body through a blood vessel in the groin or arm and threaded through the vessel until the narrowed point is reached. At that point, the balloon tip is inflated, which compresses the plaque and leaves behind a small mesh tube called a stent to support the inner wall of the vessel and help maintain blood flow. Most PCIs are conducted with the patient sedated but not asleep.

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 Cardiovascular Institute, 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.

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