Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the commonest causes of death in Singapore. It can affect patients in the form of heart attacks (also known as ‘myocardial infarction’) and stable chest pain syndromes (‘stable angina’). While many patients with stable angina can be treated with medicines, heart attack patients need emergency treatment.
NHCS offers 24-hour coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), to treat patients with heart attacks. In PCI, a special catheter is inserted into the heart (coronary) artery. This allows a very fine wire to be inserted in the artery. A balloon can then be advanced into the artery and across the blockage. The balloon is inflated once the catheter has been placed into the narrowed area of the coronary artery. The inflation of the balloon compresses the fatty tissue in the artery and makes a larger opening inside the artery for improved blood flow. A stent (wire mesh tube) is then placed across the blockage to keep the artery open. PCI can also be used to treat stable angina patients who continue to have symptoms despite medicines.
With a strong team of highly experienced and well-trained interventional cardiologists, in 2017, NHCS performed 2504 coronary angioplasty and stenting procedures. The mean mortality rate for non-emergency PCI at NHCS from 2008 to 2017 was 0.73%.
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