What is Coronary Stenting

Coronary Stenting - About 80 percent of the time, patients who have balloon angioplasty will also have a stent placed in the artery. A stent is a small, mesh-like device made of metal. It is placed inside the artery (again through a small catheter tube) to act as a support and keep the vessel open. This improves the flow of blood to the heart muscle.

About the procedure: The procedure requires inserting a balloon catheter into the radial or femoral artery. When this catheter is positioned at the location of the blockage in the coronary artery, it is slowly inflated to widen that artery, and is then removed. The stent catheter is then threaded into the artery and the stent is placed around a deflated balloon. When this is correctly positioned in the coronary artery, the balloon is inflated, expanding the stent against the walls of the coronary artery. The balloon catheter is removed, leaving the stent in place to hold the coronary artery open. A cardiac angiography will follow to ensure that the stent is keeping the artery open.

The procedure usually takes 90 minutes to a little more than 2 hours and the patient may or may not spend the night in the hospital. Patients will feel sleepy until the sedative wears off.

Coated stents- Recently new types of stents have been introduced to help reduce the possibility of re-stenosis, the development of more blockages in the treated area. Some stents are coated with drugs that can help to keep the vessel from re-closing. The coated stents (also called drug-eluting stents) release their medicine into the tissue around the stent, which can slow down or stop re-stenosis.

Your cardiologist will determine the best type of stent to be used for your particular situation.

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