The key difference between CABG and PCI is that CABG is a surgical procedure associated with better survival rates with fewer complications, while PCI is a non-surgical procedure that shows complications and high mortality rates in comparison.
Coronary artery disease is a common heart condition that occurs due to the accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls that inhibit blood flow. Rectification options for such conditions include CABG and PCI procedures. Depending on the severity of the condition, professional medical practitioners assess and decide on which treatment option would be the best approach to treat coronary artery disease.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is CABG
3. What is PCI
4. Similarities – CABG and PCI
5. CABG vs PCI in Tabular Form
6. Summary – CABG vs PCI
What is CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery)?
CABG or coronary artery bypass graft surgery is a technique that treats coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is a condition where coronary arteries become narrow and inhibit the flow of blood with essential nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease occurs due to the accumulation of fat in the coronary artery, limiting the pathway of blood flow. Symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain, fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath, and swelling in the feet and hands. Sometimes, coronary heart disease could develop into a severe stage without any symptoms and end up with cardiac arrest or heart attack.
During CABG, a new graft will be attached to the coronary artery, bypassing the block to restore proper blood flow to the heart muscle. The risks of the CABG procedure include hemorrhage, formation of blood clots that result in heart attacks and strokes, pneumonia, and infection at the incision site. CABG is a more reliable procedure to treat coronary artery disease with fewer complications and low mortality rates.
What is PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)?
PCI or percutaneous coronary intervention is a non-surgical procedure that treats atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a type of coronary artery disease that causes the build-up of plaque, which inhibits the flow of blood to the heart muscle. This causes inhibition of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and thereby induces heart attacks. It is important to rectify the narrowing by performing medical procedures to restore the flow of blood. PCI is a non-surgical technique that utilizes a catheter to place a stent to open up the narrowed vessels.
Initially, the catheter is inserted with a stent into the blood vessel from the arm or groin using a special type of X-ray. This is called fluoroscopy. The tip of the stent expands like a balloon to compress the plaque layer, and once done, the stent is placed, and the balloon deflates. This procedure contains complications, and its mortality rates are high. Complications include severe pain, swelling, hemorrhage fever, and chills. Hence, patients with severe atherosclerosis should seek other methods like CABG to rectify blocked blood vessels.
What are the Similarities Between CABG and PCI?
- CABG and PCI are treatment procedures.
- Both treat types of coronary heart diseases.
- Professional medical practitioners are involved in performing both CABG and PCI.
- CABG and PCI are performed at operating theatres.
What is the Difference Between CABG and PCI?
CABG is a surgical procedure that treats coronary artery diseases. PCI is a non-surgical procedure that treats atherosclerosis. Thus, this is the key difference between CABG and PCI. Research studies indicate that CABG is more successful in comparison to PCI with less mortality rates.
The below infographic presents the differences between CABG and PCI in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – CABG vs PCI
CABG and PCI are two treatment techniques. CABG is a treatment for coronary artery disease. PCI is a treatment for atherosclerosis. In comparison, CABG is a more reliable technique with fewer complications and low mortality rates post-surgery. But CABG is invasive. Minor atherosclerosis conditions could be treated with PCI. But for severe coronary artery diseases, CABG becomes the best option. So, this is a summary of the difference between CABG and PCI. Both types of techniques are performed by professional healthcare practitioners under sterile surgical conditions.
1. “Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.” Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
2. “Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery.” Johns Hopkins Medicine.
1. “Blausen 0152 CABG All” By Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “3D Medical Animation Percutaneous coronary intervention” By Scientific Animations (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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