Coronary angiography and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)


Where a narrowing is identified in a coronary artery during a coronary angiogram, the cardiologist may treat the lesion using a stent (fine mesh tube). This is known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI).

Narrowings are treated with balloons and stents that reduce the chance of renarrowing. 

Before and After Stenting


The first image shows a narrowing in the left anterior descending coronary artery which supplies blood to the left side of the heart. The second image shows the disease area treated with a stent (mesh tube) restoring the blood supply to the heart. 

Coronary angiograms and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) will be carried out in an angiography suite (“catheter lab”) at Intra Epsom or Intra North Harbour. Your cardiologist will be assisted by a team of professional nurses and highly skilled medical personnel.

Before your procedure

Fasting Please stop eating four hours before your procedure time.

Allergies Please inform Intra if you have any allergies to medication or contrast dye at the time of your booking

Diabetes If you are a diabetic, please tell Intra staff at the time of booking. You may need to discuss your insulin dose with your cardiologist.

Anticoagulation (blood thinner) If you are taking one of these, please make this known to Intra staff at the time of booking. Your cardiologist will advise you if you need to stop this medication temporarily for a few days before the procedure.

Other regular medications Continue these unless advised otherwise by your cardiologist. In particular, please continue taking your aspirin.

During the procedure

A coronary angiography will be performed via the wrist or groin. If a narrowing suitable for stenting is found in one of your coronary arteries, the interventional cardiologist may then insert a stent.

Through the catheter, a wire about the thickness of a hair is passed across the narrowing. A stent (a fine mesh alloy tube that comes squashed down on a balloon) is directed across the narrowing by the wire.

The balloon is inflated to expand the stent and artery. The stent is pushed into the artery wall holding the artery open. 

The balloon is deflated and removed leaving the expanded stent in place. Once expanded the stent cannot move.


Drug eluting permanent stents are the most frequently inserted stents with excellent results achieved over years. These stents are coated with a medication to prevent or substantially reduce the chance of re-narrowing and the need for repeat treatment. 

After your procedure

After the procedure, your cardiologist will discuss the findings with you while you are in hospital or at a follow-up appointment.

It is likely you will be discharged on the same day (although under some circumstances you may need to stay over night).

Someone must drive you home, or accompany you in a taxi. It is important you do not drive for 48 hours. 

At home after your procedure

After stenting you should rest for a few days.

  • Do not lift with the affected arm or do any strenous activity.
  • Please apply a new sticking plaster is you feel it is necessary.
  • Keep the site clean and do not rub the wound; just pat it dry after showering until it has healed.
  • If the site looks red, inflamed and/or infected please see your general practitioner (GP).

What are the risks?

As with any procedure, there are potential risks involved. Your cardiologist will explain the procedure, discuss possible risks and answer any questions you may have. You will then be asked to sign the consent form. This will occur either at an earlier appointment, or on the day of your procedure.