Stents

Cardiac stents are used to hold blocked arteries open. Cardiac stents are tiny wire "cages" that are situated on the end of a balloon, similar to what is used during the PTCA. The deflated balloon and stent are placed in the artery at the site of the blockage, then the balloon is inflated and the stent expands to compress the blockage against the artery wall. When the balloon is deflated, the stent stays in place. Sometimes several stents are needed for a single blockage. Other times, several stents may be placed at different sites if there are multiple blockages.  

How do I prepare for Heart Stent Placement? 

Your physician will explain the procedure to you during an office visit. Typically, patients are instructed to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before their procedure. If the procedure is scheduled for later in the day, you may be allowed to have a light breakfast. Sometimes patients with very high blood pressure and/or diabetes are given special instructions in regards to their medication. It is very important to follow the instructions given to you at the time the stent procedure is scheduled. You should bring all of your medication with you to the hospital. If you have a stent placed, you will have to stay overnight in the hospital. Most people are able to go home the next day.

Will I have to spend the night in the hospital?

Yes. If you have a heart stent placement, you will have to stay overnight in the hospital. Most patients are able to go home the next day.

What can I expect following the Stent Placement procedure?

You should be able to go home the day following your procedure, provided there were no complications. You will be able to shower and walk, but will need to restrict lifting to no more than 10 pounds for about 2 weeks. You will be asked to keep an eye on the insertion site and look for redness or swelling. Mild tenderness is common and there may be a small knot present, but you will need to notify your physician if any swelling, drainage, bleeding occurs, or if it hurts to walk. You should also contact your doctor for any cramping, weakness in the affected leg or if the leg gets “sleepy” or feels tight when you walk. You will also need to contact your doctor if any chest pain or shortness of breath occurs.