Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) was performed on 200 patients and failed in 36, 12 of whom underwent myocardial revascularization within 3 hours after the angioplasty attempt. Elective operations were performed without complications in the other 24 cases. The 12 emergency operations were necessitated by major complications during or after PTCA, viz. coronary occlusion (6 patients) coronary dissection (2) and failed catheter passage or dilation with severe myocardial ischemia (4). Three of these 12 patients had signs of acute myocardial infarction preoperatively, and new infarction appeared postoperatively in two cases. All eight patients with ST-segment elevation preoperatively had raised levels of myocardial enzymes postoperatively, and two of them had new Q-waves. Three of the 12 patients required inotropic drugs following revascularization. There was one postoperative death. When complications arise in PTCA, emergency operation should be undertaken. When PTCA fails, but without complications, surgery can be electively performed.