Marquette General Heart Institute
is a Coronary Stent?
is a stent?
stent is a small stainless steel coiled mesh device that is place
in a narrowed coronary artery to hold it open. It is a permanent
device that will stay in your artery.
Why a stent?
is successful most of the time, however the artery may renarrow.
To aid in keeping the artery open, your doctor may determine that
a stent is the best treatment. The use of a stent has shown to improve
the success rate of Angioplasty.
How is a stent placed in the artery?
Your stent procedure will most often be done immediately following
your heart catheterization. Sometimes your doctor will need to wait
until the next day to review the films from the heart cath to determine
the best plan of care for you.
not your stent placement is done immediately or the following day,
the preparation is very similar. You will be put on oxygen and a
nitroglycerin drip. You will be given a blood thinner called Heparin
to prevent blood from forming clots during your procedure.
A guiding catheter will be inserted through the tube in the artery
and advanced into the opening of the coronary artery. A small flexible
wire will be pushed through the guiding catheter, down the coronary
artery and through the narrowed area in the artery. Once this wire
is pushed down past the blockage, a small catheter with a deflated,
sausage shaped balloon on its tip will be pushed over the wire and
positioned across the blockage. Next, the balloon will be inflated
for 1 to 2 minutes. You may experience chest pain during inflations.
This is normal but does not always occur. When the balloon is inflated
the stent expands and presses against the inner wall of the coronary
artery. After the balloon is deflated and removed, the stent remains
in place, keeping the artery open. The wire and balloon will be
removed from the artery and more pictures will be taken. The short
tubes will be stitched to the groin, to be removed later.
Will the stent ever be removed?
The stent is a permanent implant that remains in your artery. After
several weeks the body will grow tissue over the stent, keeping
the stent in place.
What happens after the procedure?
You will be taken to the Outpatient Cardiac Unit and an EKG
will be done. Then you will be taken to a special room on the Cardiac
Unit or Advanced Cardiac Unit, where you will be monitored closely
for the first 12 hours. Once the blood thinners have worn off, the
small tubes will be removed from your groin. Pressure will be held
and a sandbag will be applied. You will remain in bed for 8 hours
following sheath removal. This is usually the hardest part of the
who experiences chest pain is a candidate for a stent procedure.
The recovery period for stent placement is shorter than for
coronary bypass surgery. Your doctor will determine the best
plan of care for you. There are very few complications with
a stent procedure.