Cardiovascular Services

Coronary Intervention

What is coronary intervention?

Coronary intervention procedures treat conditions associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). At MaineHealth, patients with CAD are treated by interdisciplinary teams of interventional cardiologists, radiologists, and specially trained nurses and technicians who work collaboratively to improve arterial blood flow and patient outcomes.

Coronary Intervention Procedures

Angioplasty is a procedure to open a blocked blood vessel. During an angioplasty procedure, a thin, flexible tube (called a catheter) with a deflated balloon at its tip is threaded through a blood vessel to the blocked artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque against the artery wall, widening the artery and restoring blood flow to the heart.

Sometimes a stent is placed in the artery during angioplasty. A stent is a small mesh “scaffold” that is used to prop open narrowed or weakened arteries. Maine Medical Center has been involved in national clinical trials of newer drug-eluting stents. These stents are coated with a drug that dramatically reduces re-stenosis (the build-up of scar tissue at the site of the stent that can cause the artery to narrow again).

Each year, over 1,400 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) are performed by MaineHealth specialists. We aim to reduce risk of complications, with more than half of all PCIs performed using the radial artery (wrist) as opposed to the femoral artery (groin) for access. Use of radial access is associated with quicker recovery time, less discomfort for the patient, and less bleeding
complications post-procedure.

High Risk PCI

The team also performs high-risk PCIs including left main artery stenosis in patients at increased risk for surgery, and on those vessels that have a chronic total occlusion (CTO). 

AMI Perfuse Program

During a heart attack when a coronary artery is blocked by a clot that obstructs blood flow to the heart, the faster the artery can be opened, the sooner blood flow can be restored - reducing the chance of damage to the heart muscle, or death. Learn more about the MaineHealth AMI Perfuse Program.

Next Step for Patients

While some patients are candidates for self-referral to our cardiovascular specialists, we recommend that you ask your primary care physician for help with the process.

Provider Referrals

If you are a provider who would like to refer a patient to for MaineHealth coronary services, please review our clinical guidelines and call 207-885-9905.