Did you know that more than one-third of patients would experience another heart attack even after angioplasty if a stent were not inserted?
Without a stent, there is no support in the operated artery, which may collapse or get blocked again. Most stents also have a medicinal coating that prevents arteries from getting smaller or blocked up again. As stents produce better outcomes for patients with blocked arteries, it is necessary to understand the importance of stents. Let’s get started.
What is a stent?
A stent is a small mesh tube placed into a blocked artery after inflation by a balloon to enable the free flow of blood. Usually, stents are about one-half to one inch long and are mostly coated by medicines. However, cardiologists may use bigger-sized stents for wider arteries.
Why would I need a stent?
The doctor may suggest stenting, also known as angioplasty, if you have one or more narrow/blocked arteries. It is a minimally invasive procedure with a 1cm cut in the forearm or groin. The cut doesn’t even need stitches.
When should I need a stent?
Stents are often needed to restore blood flow when cholesterol plaques stick to the walls of the blood vessel, build up, and block the blood vessel.
Stents are mostly needed when a coronary artery gets blocked. The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle so it can work properly.
The usage of Stents is not limited to the heart artery. Stenting can open any blocked/narrow artery like the intestine, brain, kidney etc.
What should I do before stenting?
The preparation for the procedure depends on the type of stent that will be used.
How is a stent placed?
The cardiologist uses a minimally invasive technique to put a stent via the wrist or groin area. The procedure uses a catheter to guide special tools through blood vessels to the site where a stent is needed. In addition, an attached camera on the wire helps with the stent placement process.
The doctor may also use angiography, a type of imaging, to help guide the stent as it is being put in. Thereafter, special tools find the part of the damaged or blocked blood vessel. After the stent reaches the blockage, a balloon is used to open up the stent in the artery and fix the stent there. The balloon is then deflated and brought out of the body along with other wires and tools.
What are the risks of putting in a stent?
Even though stents don’t usually cause problems, some rare risks are associated with stenting.
However, these side effects are extremely rare if an experienced cardiologist does the procedure and good-quality stents and dyes are used.
What will happen after the operation?
When should I get in touch with my doctor?
You should immediately inform your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
If you experience any symptoms related to heart conditions, don’t delay consulting a good cardiologist. Receiving the proper medical treatment and care is the only way to avoid any related medical complications.
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