Once an angioplasty is completed, a small, metal mesh tube (stent) is mounted on a balloon-tipped catheter in a collapsed state and is then inserted and carefully guided to the blocked artery. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands to fit the size of the blocked artery and pushes against the inner wall of the artery to provide a pathway for increased blood flow. When the balloon is deflated, the catheter and balloon are removed, leaving the stent in place. After several weeks, the artery heals around the stent. The stent keeps the artery open and prevents it from narrowing again. Your cardiologist also may use a stent coated with medication to prevent the artery from narrowing. See how a stent is placed into your artery.
The procedure is performed to relieve the recurrence of chest pain, and reduce other complications from coronary artery disease, and can take 30 to 60 minutes dependent upon the number of balloon catheters that have to be used.
You remain awake during the procedure, and a mild sedative is provided to make you more comfortable. Once your cardiologist is satisfied with the results, the balloon will be deflated and the wire withdrawn. You will be allowed to walk with assistance after about 6 hours, and discharged the following morning if there are no complications.
To learn more about Summa's cardiac care services, call us at (888) 926-9540.