PCI (Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)

Holland Hospital is one of a select number of hospitals in Michigan that is approved and certified by the state to perform emergency Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), a life-saving emergency treatment for heart attacks.

The sooner you or a loved one receive treatment the lower the risk of heart damage and the better the chance for recovery. At Holland Hospital we have a special process to ensure that treatment is rapid and appropriate with treatment times that are superior to goals set by the American College of Cardiology.

What is PCI?

PCI is a procedure that unblocks narrowed coronary arteries without performing surgery. It is also known as “emergency angioplasty” because it is often performed when a heart attack is first diagnosed and immediate treatment is required.

How does it work?

PCI may involve the use of a cardiac catheter with a balloon, a stent, blood clot removal, plaque removal or some combination. During the procedure, the catheter with a small balloon attached is inserted into the coronary artery. The balloon is then expanded at the narrowed part of the artery to push the blockage out of the way and restore adequate blood flow. In some cases, a stent (a hollow mesh tube) may also be placed in the artery to prevent constriction following the procedure.

What are the benefits?

PCI saves lives. When a heart attack occurs, every minute counts. If blood flow is restored quickly, less damage is done to the heart muscle and fewer complications result. After treatment a patient may  require an overnight hospital stay, but most patients experience a rapid recovery.

When appropriate, Holland Hospital may also use a catheter with a rotating blade that shaves off and collects plaque from vessel walls to improve blood flow. This advanced procedure also treats Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD).


Spectrum Health Heart & Vascular Center at Holland Hospital
(formerly West Michigan Heart)
(616) 392-3824