Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory: Please help us limit exposure. Learn more about COVID-19 and where to go if you have concerns.
Get regional updates for Providence Washington.
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) is a non-surgical catheter-based procedure used to correct a narrowing or blockage of one or more coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. The purpose of the PTCA is to improve blood supply to the heart. As a result, more oxygen-rich blood will flow through the arteries that supply your heart muscle.
A coronary stent is a device used to prop open a narrowed section of coronary artery. There are a number of stent designs that are available, but all are intended to achieve the same result: to improve the blood flow to the heart muscle. Stent placement procedures are often done in conjunction with PTCA procedures.
A stent is a small, slotted metal tube composed of stainless steel, crimped on the balloon portion of a PTCA catheter. X-ray and specialized camera equipment guide the balloon catheter to the narrowed segment of coronary artery. The balloon is inflated and the stent device is expanded against the vessel wall, resulting in a wider channel for blood flow. It may be necessary to inflate the balloon several times to fully expand the stent. The balloon catheter is then withdrawn. It may be necessary to put more than one stent in place. The stent stays in place permanently, in order to maintain an open artery, and help prevent chest pain from recurring.
An atherectomy is a procedure that restores blood flow to a narrowed coronary artery by removing the material blocking the artery. Based on the type and degree of blockage, your doctor may perform one of the following treatments:
Directional Coronary Atherectomy (DCA): A catheter with a side opening is positioned inside the coronary artery, across from the section where the fatty plaque is blocking blood flow. The catheter’s cutter blade shaves the plaque and collects it in the tip of the catheter.
Rotational Ablation Atherectomy: A catheter with tiny diamond chips on its tip is used to grind the blocking plaque into particles smaller than the size of a red blood cell. These particles pass into the circulation and are removed by the body.
Transluminal Extraction Atherectomy: A catheter with rotating cutter blades at the tip removes the blockage. The material removed is vacuumed into the catheter and removed.