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What is Vascular Stent Placement?

Vascular stent placement is a medical procedure in which a small, expandable metal or plastic tube called a stent is inserted into a blood vessel to treat various conditions related to vascular (blood vessel) diseases. The goal of this procedure is to help restore or improve blood flow within the affected blood vessels. Stents come in various sizes and designs. The choice of a particular stent depends on the patient's specific condition and the characteristics of the blood vessel being treated.

Indications for Vascular Stent Placement

Vascular stent placement is commonly used to treat conditions, such as:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Stents can be placed in the coronary arteries to treat blockages and improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): Stents can be used to treat narrowed arteries in the legs or other peripheral vessels.
  • Carotid Artery Disease: Stenting may be an option to treat blockages in the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain.

Preparation for Vascular Stent Placement

In general, preparation for vascular stent placement may involve the following:

  • Your physician will typically conduct diagnostic tests such as angiography, CT scans, or ultrasound to assess the condition of the blood vessels and identify any blockages or narrowing.
  • You should inform your doctor of any medications or supplements you are taking.
  • Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking certain medications that may be contraindicated with the procedure.
  • You should inform your doctor of any allergies to medications, anesthesia, or contrast dye.
  • Do not eat or drink for several hours before the procedure.
  • You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
  • A signed informed consent form will be obtained from you after the procedure has been explained.

Procedure for Vascular Stent Placement

In general, vascular stent placement procedure may involve the following:

  • The vascular stent placement procedure is usually performed in a catheterization laboratory (cath lab) or an interventional radiology suite.
  • You will usually be awake but may receive sedation to keep you relaxed.
  • A dye is injected into the body to view blood flow through the vessels and to identify and locate the area of blockage.
  • Once the treatment area is located, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is threaded through the blood vessels to the site of the blockage or narrowing using fluoroscopic guidance (live X-ray imaging).
  • Once the catheter reaches the target area, the stent is placed over a deflated balloon at the tip of the catheter. The balloon is then inflated, causing the stent to expand and push against the walls of the blood vessel, effectively widening it and holding it open.
  • In many cases, the procedure also involves balloon angioplasty. The inflation of the balloon helps compress plaque or fatty deposits against the vessel walls, further improving blood flow.
  • After the vessel has been widened, the stent remains in place to provide structural support and maintain the improved blood flow. Some stents are designed to release medication over time to prevent re-narrowing (restenosis) of the vessel.

Post-Procedure Care and Recovery

Following the procedure, you will be able to go home the same day or may have to remain in the hospital for a day or two. You may develop swelling, pain, or bruising at the catheter insertion site. Medications are provided as needed to address these. Blood-thinning medications, such as Plavix and aspirin are also provided to prevent the formation of blood clots inside the stent. You can return to your normal activities in a week, but should refrain from lifting heavy weights or engaging in strenuous activities for a defined period. Instructions on incision site care and bathing will be provided to keep the wound clean and dry. A periodic follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your progress.

Risks and Complications

Risks and complications associated with vascular stent placement procedure may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Heart attack
  • Blood clot formation
  • Allergic reactions

Contact with Dr. Adey Agbetoyin

cardiovascular clinic of West Tennessee

2968 North Highland Ave,
TN 38305

  • Monday to Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm