- Protected PCI is an advanced heart procedure used to treat severe coronary artery heart disease and advanced heart failure in high-risk patients.
- Protected PCI is a less invasive heart repair procedure and blocked artery treatment that uses a catheter-based system to open or unblock arteries narrowed by hardened plaque.
- This procedure is an advanced version of angioplasty and stenting, which uses a small non-surgical heart pump that maintains your blood pressure and blood flow during the procedure.
As people age, cholesterol and fat (plaque) can accumulate in the blood vessels of the heart, a process called atherosclerosis. When enough plaque accumulates inside a person's coronary arteries to reduce or block blood flow to the heart, that person is said to have coronary heart disease.
During angioplasty, a physician inflates a small balloon inside a blood vessel to press against and flatten the plaque, re-opening the artery. The goal of angioplasty is to restore adequate blood flow (revascularization) through the affected blood vessel. A stent, a tiny, expandable metal-mesh tube that fits inside an artery, is left in place to keep the artery open.
For patients who have additional health risks (such as severe heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or anatomic issues with the heart), Protected PCI now offers a new treatment option for patients previously determined to be too high-risk for open heart bypass surgery or stenting. The cardiologist and cardiac surgeon may determine that standard stenting or surgical bypass are both too high risk. Protected PCI is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that protects the heart and blood flow during the procedure which allows the heart team to perform a more thorough heart repair procedure without interruption the normal blood flow your heart needs to stay healthy during the procedure.
The procedures use a device called Impella, the world's smallest heart pump, proven safe and effective in treating patients undergoing an elective or urgent high risk heart procedure.