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What To Expect Before Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is done in a hospital. A cardiologist will perform the procedure. A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating heart diseases and conditions.

If PCI isn't done as an emergency treatment, you'll meet with your cardiologist beforehand. He or she will go over your medical history (including the medicines you take), do a physical exam, and talk to you about the procedure.

Your doctor also may recommend tests, such as blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), and a chest x ray.

Once the procedure is scheduled, your doctor will advise you:

  • When to begin fasting (not eating or drinking) before the procedure. Often, you have to stop eating and drinking 6–8 hours before the procedure.
  • What medicines you should and shouldn't take on the day of the procedure.
  • When to arrive at the hospital and where to go.

Even though PCI takes only 1–2 hours, you'll likely need to stay in the hospital overnight. Your doctor may advise you to not drive for a certain amount of time after the procedure. Thus, you'll probably need to arrange a ride home.

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Updated: August 28, 2014