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Home >> Specialities >> Cardiology >> Stent Placement

Stent Placement

When arteries become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup, restoring proper blood flow becomes paramount. Stent placement, a common medical procedure, offers a solution to this problem. A stent is a small, mesh-like tube typically made of metal or plastic. It is inserted into an artery to keep it open. Stent placement, also known as coronary stenting, is primarily used to treat conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD). CAD occurs when fatty deposits, or plaques, accumulate in the coronary arteries, while PAD affects arteries in the legs and other peripheral areas.

The Procedure

  • Preparation: Patients usually receive a local anesthetic at the insertion site, which is often in the groin or arm, to numb the area.
  • Catheterization: A catheter with a deflated stent is guided through the blood vessels to the blocked or narrowed artery.
  • Stent Deployment: Once the catheter is correctly positioned, the stent is expanded, pushing the plaque against the artery wall and restoring blood flow.
  • Final Placement: After the stent is in place, the catheter is removed, leaving the stent securely positioned to keep the artery open.

Benefits of Stent Placement

  • Immediate Relief: Stents provide rapid relief from symptoms caused by blocked arteries, such as chest pain (angina) or leg pain during walking (claudication).
  • Prevention of Re-narrowing: Stents act as scaffolds to prevent the treated artery from re-narrowing, reducing the need for repeat procedures.
  • Minimally Invasive: Like balloon angioplasty, stent placement is minimally invasive, resulting in shorter recovery times compared to open surgery.

Considerations and Follow-up
While stent placement offers numerous advantages, it's essential to note that the choice of stent type and the need for antiplatelet medications may vary from patient to patient. Some stents are coated with medications (drug-eluting stents) to reduce the risk of re-narrowing.
Patients who undergo stent placement will also need to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, including dietary changes, regular exercise, and medication adherence, to prevent the development of new plaques.

In conclusion, stent placement is a crucial procedure that provides much-needed support to patients with blocked arteries. Ensuring proper blood flow, not only alleviates symptoms but also improves overall quality of life. If you or a loved one are facing cardiovascular issues, consult with a healthcare professional to determine if stent placement is the right treatment option. Early intervention and ongoing cardiovascular care are essential steps in managing these conditions and maintaining a healthy heart.

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