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:
Coronary Artery: Stent Procedure
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Coronary stenting allows for better blood flow to feed the heart muscle. It may mean that you will no longer have chest pain. Activities may become easier.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review possible problems such as:
Sometimes the stent isn’t enough or the artery narrows again. This may result in another procedure.
Your chances for problems are higher for:
You may have:
Leading up to your procedure:
The insertion site is numbed with a local anesthetic. A mild sedative given ahead of time will help you relax.
The catheter is placed into an artery in either the groin or arm. The area will be cleaned and numbed. A needle is placed into a blood vessel. A wire is passed through the needle and into the blood vessel. The wire is then threaded to the block. A soft, flexible tube is slipped over the wire and threaded up to this point.
X-rays help to know where the wire and catheter are. Dye is injected into the arteries of the heart. This makes the block easier to see. You may feel warm when the dye is injected.
There’s a small balloon at the tip of the catheter. It will be quickly inflated and deflated. This will stretch the blocked artery open.
The flattened stent will be placed. The balloon is reinflated 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 be removed.
The insertion site is covered with a bandage.
You will need to lie still and flat on your back for a period of time. Pressure on the site will control bleeding.
30 minutes to 3 hours
You may feel:
To help with healing:
In the future, tell any healthcare staff you have a stent in place. Some tests such as an MRI scan, may need to be avoided.
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
Call for emergency medical services right away for:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Revascularization for coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T901116/Revascularization-for-coronary-artery-disease-CAD . Updated June 2, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018.
Stenting during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114966/Stenting-during-percutaneous-coronary-intervention-PCI . Updated June 21, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018.
Stents. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/stents. Updated December 17, 2013. Accessed July 3, 2018.
11/7/2007 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T901116/Revascularization-for-coronary-artery-disease-CAD : Bravata DM, Gienger AL, McDonald KM, et al. Systematic review: the comparative effectiveness of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(10):703-716.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 7/3/2018