Are you worried about the surgery necessary for stent placement? You may be surprised to learn that you won’t need a single stitch after the procedure. The cardiologists at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists in Las Vegas specialize in stent placement. To schedule a visit, call the office or book your appointment online.
A stent is a small wire mesh tube that holds a previously clogged artery open following balloon angioplasty. The stent is placed at the same time the artery is opened and becomes a permanent part of the vessel wall, helping keep the artery from narrowing in the future. The stent also helps prevent damage to your heart caused by decreased blood flow through an artery clogged with plaque buildup related to atherosclerosis.
To place a stent, your cardiologist inserts a flexible plastic tube called a catheter through an artery, typically in your groin, and threads it up the artery to the blocked coronary artery. A special dye is injected so the blood flow through the arteries is visible on a monitor and acts as a guide for the catheter.
The tip of the catheter contains a balloon. Once the catheter reaches the site of the blockage, the balloon is inflated widely enough that it opens the artery. The balloon is then deflated and removed, and a stent is guided to the site and left in place. Depending on the size and location of the blockage, you may require more than one stent to keep the artery open.
The procedure may take place right after an arteriogram, which is a special type of X-ray that’s used to locate the blockage, or it may occur the next day.
After stent placement, you’ll be moved to a recovery area where direct pressure is applied to the catheter insertion site for at least 30 minutes. After that, you must stay in bed for another 12 hours. Most often, you can expect to be released to go home 12-24 hours following stent placement. Most patients return to work within a week of the procedure.
If, however, you had a heart attack leading up to the stent placement, you may require a longer hospital stay and more time to recover before returning to work. Either way, you receive instructions for cardiac rehab and tips for protecting your newfound cardiac health.
For expert cardiac care delivered in a warm and friendly environment, schedule an appointment at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists today. Call the office or book your visit online.