How to Avoid Potential Complications from PCI

avoid PCI complicationsPercutaneous coronary intervention—or PCI—and Protected PCI™ are nonsurgical procedures for people with blocked coronary arteries. The purpose of both procedures is to open up narrowed arteries and improve blood flow to the heart. PCI is recommended for people who otherwise have a healthy heart.

Protected PCI is recommended for patients with stable blood flow and a combination of severe coronary artery disease, a low ejection fraction, and other conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, advanced age, peripheral vascular disease, complex lesions, history of angina, or prior surgeries. Protected PCI is a PCI procedure performed with extra support from a heart pump. The heart pump such as Impella 2.5® helps maintain heart function, blood pressure, and blood flow, while the blockages in one or more arteries are repaired.

The arteries are successfully opened up in most people. The removal of plaque from blood vessels can cause blood clots to form. To prevent blood clots from forming, people are given aspirin or other anti-clotting medication, called blood thinners. The names of some of these anti-clotting medications are clopidogrel bisulphate (Plavix)1, warfarin (Coumadin), heparin (Clexane, Lovenox, Arixtra), argatroban (Argatroban), lepirudin (Refludan), bivalirudin (Angiomax, Angiox) and dabigatran (Pradaxa).

To prevent blood clots, make sure you take your medication regularly. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your cardiologist.

Tips to Avoid Complications and Recover Faster:

Ask your cardiologist to discuss lifestyle changes, and answer any questions you have regarding your medications or your heart disease, recovery from PCI or Protected PCI.

Next Steps:

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To learn more about the Impella® platform of heart pumps, including important risk and safety information associated with the use of the devices, please visit: