by Amy Scholten, MPH
Coronary stenting is a way to open a blocked artery in the heart. During an angioplasty, a mesh, metal tube is placed in the artery. The tube is called a stent.
There are 2 types:
Reasons for Procedure
Coronary stenting is to restore proper blood flow to the heart. It may help reduce chest pain. Activities may become easier.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The care team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor will give a local anesthetic—the insertion site will be numbed. Medicine will help you relax.
Description of Procedure
A needle is placed into a blood vessel in the groin or arm. A wire is passed through the needle and into the blood vessel. The wire is then threaded to the blockage. A soft, flexible tube is slipped over the wire and threaded up to this point.
The doctor uses x-rays to see where the wire and tube are. Contrast dye is injected through the tube and into the arteries of the heart. This makes the blockage easier to see
There is a small balloon at the tip of the tube. It will be quickly inflated and deflated. This will stretch the blocked artery open.
A flattened stent will be placed in the artery. The balloon is inflated again to open the stent to its full size. The stent will remain in place to hold the vessel walls open. The balloon, catheter, and wire will then be removed. A bandage will be placed over the site.
How Long Will It Take?
30 minutes to 3 hours
Will It Hurt?
There may be some discomfort when:
Average Hospital Stay
0 to 2 days
Recovery may take a few days to a week. A heart healthy diet and other lifestyle changes may be advised.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
Call for Medical Help Right Away If Any of the Following Occur
Call for medical help right away for:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Angioplasty and stent placement for the heart. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/angioplasty-and-stent-placement-for-the-heart. Accessed August 31, 2021.
McKavanagh P, Zawadowski G, et al. The evolution of coronary stents. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2018;16(3):219-228.
Revascularization for coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/revascularization-for-coronary-artery-disease-cad. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Stenting during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/stenting-during-percutaneous-coronary-intervention-pci. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Stents. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/stents. Accessed August 31, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 8/31/2021