What Happens When You Have A Stent Put In?

A stent is a tiny mesh of stainless steel that is put in a blocked blood vessel, to open it up for proper blood flow. The most common form of stent is the coronary stent placement. When a coronary stent is moved up to an artery, it immediately opens the blocked space. The stent is left in the artery to keep it widened for proper blood supply. This improves the blood flow to the heart muscles thus relieving from symptoms of chest pain.

What are The Other Uses Of Stent?

Stent placement can also be helpful in the prevention of an aneurysm from rupturing in the patient’s brain, aorta or other blood vessels. Apart from this, stents can also be used to open up various pathways like the bronchi (small airways in the lungs); bile ducts (ducts which carry bile to and from the digestive system) and ureters (tubes which carry urine from the kidney to bladder).

How is a Stent Put In?

Stent placement is primarily a part of angioplasty. It includes a minimally invasive procedure in order to place the stent in the blood vessel to pop up its blockage.

  • Once the patient changes into the surgical gown so provided, he is given mild sedatives to relax.
  • The doctor has to make a small incision either in the groin area or arm. This is done only after the area is numbed with the help of local anesthesia.
  • A catheter is inserted through the incision. The catheter contains the stent and an inflatable balloon attached to it.
  • With the help of iodine dye and X-ray imaging technique, the catheter is guided up to the blocked blood vessel.
  • Once it reaches the blockage, the balloon is inflated. Due to this inflation, the stent expands and the blockage is cleared by pushing the plaque that contributes to the blockage, towards the walls of the blood vessels.
  • The stent is left behind in the blood vessel so that it can hold it wide for unrestricted flow of blood to different parts of the body.
  • The catheter and the balloon are taken out of the blood vessel through the incision.

What Happens When You Have A Stent Put In?

What Happens When You Have A Stent Put In?

The patient might feel soreness at the incision site which is normal. Mild painkillers may be given to reduce the pain associated with stent placement procedure. The doctor may also prescribe anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clotting. Although stent placement is a one-day procedure, the doctor may ask the patient to stay overnight for observation. Once the patient gets back home, he will be recommended to drink plenty of fluids and restrict strenuous physical activity for few weeks. The patient should follow the doctor’s instructions for speedy recovery following stent placement.

What are The Various Lifestyle Changes Needed After Stent Placement?

Although the life of stent is quite permanent in a blood vessel, there is no guarantee that plaque may not get built up again. Thus, in order to prevent further plaque formation, few lifestyle changes are to be incorporated. The foremost thing is to quit smoking because it is injurious to health and may become a contributor to plaque formation. Consumption of alcohol must be limited. The patient should specifically pay attention to his diet. Excessive oily food must be avoided as it contributes to higher cholesterol levels. A balanced diet should be taken. Once the patient becomes fit after stent placement, efforts must be made to stay physically fit. This includes exercises to keep the body fit. Exercises also help in fat reduction. Patients are recommended to keep a normal body weight and reduce obesity. Stress reduction is another important step for a healthy lifestyle.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 20, 2017

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