Coronary artery disease – or the narrowing of the arteries due to cholesterol plaque build-up – is one of the most common heart conditions in the United States. Plaque or lipid deposits may build up in the walls of the arteries. This plaque may cause narrowing or stenosis of the arteries leading to either heart attacks, if the plaque ruptures, or angina (chest discomfort) if the artery narrows enough to restrict blood flow.
At the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Saddleback Medical Center, advances in cardiac treatment include percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI. This approach allows physicians to insert a stent to widen the artery to increase blood flow from a radial artery in the wrist.
This eliminates the need for open-heart surgery in many cases which in turn benefits the patient with a shorter hospital stay, less scarring, less risk of infection and shorter recovery time. Typically, the patient goes home the same day, and on some occasions may spend one night in the hospital.
This is an excellent option for those who are at high-risk from complications of surgery, such as seniors.
Many of our elective PCI cases opt for the same-day procedure, so they can come into the hospital in the morning and be home to their loved ones by the evening. It saves many of my patients from undo anxiety and time – while still getting revolutionary cardiac care.
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