How is a Coronary Artery Stent Placed? What does it look like?
A stent is a tiny wire metal mesh tube. It is used to open an artery during angioplasty. The stent is folded over a balloon catheter (tube). It is then moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent opens and locks in place.
- The stent holds the artery open.
- The stent stays in the artery.
- The stent improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
- The stent relieves symptoms (chest pain).
The inside lining of the artery grows over the metal surface of the stent during the first few weeks that the stent is there. Patients who have a stent must take one or more blood-thinning agents. Examples are aspirin and Plavix®. These medicines help reduce the risk of a blood clot forming in the stent and blocking the artery. Metal detectors do not affect the stent. If you get a stent, you will spend the night in the hospital.
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Last Updated: 07/06/2011
Copyright © 07/06/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7224
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