Overview of Stent Therapy
Your doctor may recommend placing a stent to reopen your blocked artery. A stent is a small, expandable, mesh-like tube that supports the artery and helps to keep it open.
Implanting a stent does not require open surgery. The doctor inserts a catheter into an artery in your arm or leg, similar to the balloon angioplasty procedure. A specially designed catheter delivers the stent to the narrow area in the artery. The stent is expanded, flattening the plaque against the artery wall and holding the artery open with a mesh tube. The catheter used to deliver the stent is then removed, but the stent stays in your artery permanently to maintain healthy blood flow.
Benefits of stent therapy:
- The stent scaffolds the artery open, improving blood flow.
- You are awake for the procedure; general anesthesia is not needed.
- The hospital stay is usually brief.
- You may be able to return to normal activities quickly.
Risks associated with stent therapy:
- The stent can occlude, causing reduced and/or no blood flow to the area.
- The insertion site may bleed or become infected.
- The artery may become blocked again (restenosis).
- The stent could puncture the artery (Artery Perforation)