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Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Thomas Drive, L14 3PE
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Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

What is a PCI?

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), commonly known as a coronary angioplasty, is a procedure used to treat the stenotic (narrowed) or obstructed coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary heart disease that can cause angina or heart attacks. This can be caused by cholesterol build-up and is strongly associated with risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and a family history of coronary artery disease. 

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention is the insertion of catheters into arteries in wrist or groin. The catheter is passed until it reaches the coronary arteries of the heart. A balloon catheter is then passed  and  inflated across a narrowing to expand the lumen. A stent (a wire mesh scaffold) is then placed in the artery to keep them open.  Often the procedure is straight forward but sometimes quite complex approaches are needed such as in there management of chronically occluded coronary arteries (CTO)

"This is a life changing procedure and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital gave me my life back" 

Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI)

A Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention is the emergency treatment of a heart attack by rapidly unblocking a coronary artery to restore blood flow and minimise the damage to the heart muscle. This has been shown to significantly reduce mortality as well as reduce complications from heart attacks and is the gold standard of treatment.

Patients are triaged by the ambulance paramedics and can be taken directly to the Cath Lab at LHCH for a PPCI. There is also a rapid trasfer system for patients presenting to their local hospital.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is a recognised centre of excellence in the UK for the consistent, rapid and effective  treatment of heart attack patients.

  • We provide a 24/7 consultant delivered service for urgent and emergency PCI
  • We have access to the full range of interventional diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, which is rare outside the largest centres
  • We are the 2nd largest PCI centre in the UK in terms of volumes of cases, and the UK number 1 in terms of the cases done per consultant operator
  • We are the only UK centre with a ‘patient lounge for day cases enabling patients to stay in their own clothing
  • We are the national leaders in performance management of PCI operators and were the first centre to release named operator outcome data
  • We are national leaders in the assessment of patient reported outcomes for PCI
  • We undertake approximately 2600 procedures each year
  • 70-80% of our elective PCIs are day cases (well above the national average)

Referral Route

Patients will generally be referred for an elective  PCI at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital via the cardiologist at ther local hospital.

Patients who require a Primary PCI (emergency procedure) will be brought straight to LHCH via an emergency ambulance transfer from a 999 call or hospital A+E Department. 

Our PCI Team

LHCH has a core staff of seven full-time PCI operators:

Find out more

You can find out more by going to Coronary Angioplasty on the NHS Choices website