STENT PLACEMENT SURGERY
What is a stent placement?
A stent is a wire mesh stainless steel tube that holds an artery open and keeps it from closing again. It becomes a permanent part of your artery.
How is it done?
The doctor will insert a tiny, flexible plastic tube called a catheter through an artery in our groin, leg, or arm. A special dye is injected so blood flow through the arteries is visible on the TV monitors. The doctor moves a balloon catheter, and then a stent, to the site of the blockage. The balloon is inflated and stretched wide against the artery walls, which opens the blockage. Then the balloon is deflated and taken out, leaving the stent in place.
What should you expect?
The procedure may take place right after the arteriogram, which is used to find the blockage, or it may occur the next day.You may need to stay in the hospital two or three days.
During the procedure : –
- The doctor will insert the balloon catheter and inflate it to open the blockage. A stent will then be guided to the site. The doctor may need to use a number of stents to open the whole blocked area.
- You may feel some discomfort when the balloon is inflated. This will go away when the balloon is deflated.
- A small tube called a sheath may stay in the artery for two to four hours after the procedure. In some patients, it will stay in place overnight.
Risks of angioplasty and stent placement are : –
- Allergic reaction to the x-ray dye
- Bleeding or clotting in the area where the catheter was inserted
- Damage to a blood vessel
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure (higher risk in people who already have kidney problems)
- Stroke (this is rare)
- Allergic reaction to the stent material
- Allergic reaction to the drug used in a stent that releases medicine into your body
- Blood clot in the legs or the lungs
- Clogging of the inside of the stent
- Infection in the incisions
- Damage to a nerve, which could cause pain or numbness in the leg
What are the advantages of using a stent?
In certain patients, stents reduce the renarrowing that occurs after balloon angioplasty or other procedures that use catheters. Stents also help restore normal blood flow and keep an artery open if it’s been torn or injured by the balloon catheter.
What precautions should be taken after a stent procedure?
Patients who’ve had a stent procedure must take one or more blood-thinning agents. Examples are aspirin and clopidogrel. These medications help reduce the risk of a blood clot developing in the stent and blocking the artery. Some recent studies have suggested that blood clots may develop later on (more than a year after stent placement) in the drug-eluting stents. Therefore it is really important to stay on your medications as long as your cardiologist recommends. Aspirin is usually recommended for life, and clopidogrel is generally used for one to 12 months (depending on the type of stent) after the procedure.