Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the procedure
Fasting before the procedure, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
Whether you need a ride to and from the procedure
Tests that will need to be done before the procedure
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:
The catheter is moved around or replaced
The contrast dye is injected—a flushing feeling or nausea
The balloon is inflated
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:
Fever or chills
Redness, swelling, pain, excess bleeding, or discharge from insertion site
Call for Medical Help Right Away If Any of the Following Occur
Call for medical help right away for:
Changes in vision or speech
Problems walking or using arms
Numbness, coldness, or change in color in the affected leg or arm
Extreme sweating, nausea or vomiting
Lightheadedness, weakness, or fainting
Chest pain or fast, uneven heartbeats
Coughing or breathing problems
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
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
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