What to Know About Stenting

Stents are tiny tubes that play a significant role in treating heart diseases. They aid in keeping the arteries carrying blood from the heart to other body parts open. Stenting helps in treating narrow or weak arteries and relieving blockages. A substance called plaque can build up in the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart. This can cause chest pain. By keeping arteries open, stents can lower the risk of these chest pains and can also treat a heart attack. Riverside stenting procedures help people experiencing these arterial problems.

What is angioplasty?

This is the procedure used to open blocked arteries. Angioplasty restores blood flow into the heart muscles without open-heart surgery. It can be done in an emergency, such as a heart attack. For angioplasty, a thin, long tube is put into a blood vessel to the blocked coronary artery. The tube has a tiny balloon at its tip. Once it’s in place, the balloon is inflated at the narrow part of the artery making the blood clot or plaque push to the sides of the artery creating more room for blood flow.

What are Stents?

Coronary stents are used in almost all angioplasty procedures. A stent is a small, tiny elastic metal mesh coil. It is inserted in the artery’s newly opened area to keep the artery from closing or narrowing again. Once the stent has been put in, tissues will begin coating the stent in layers of skin.

The stent fully aligns with the tissue within 3-12 months. You can be prescribed medicines known as antiplatelet to reduce stickiness on platelets. The platelets are blood cells that stick together to stop bleeding. This medicine can prevent blood clots inside the stent.

Many stents are coated with medicine to eliminate scar tissue forming inside the stent. The stents are known as drug-eluting stents. These stents release medicine into the blood vessels that slow the overgrowth of tissue in the stent. This aids in preventing blood vessels from narrowing again. Stents without this medicine are called bare-metal stents. They might have high rates of stenosis, and they don’t need long-term antiplatelet medicine. This stent is preferred in people at high risk of bleeding.

What are the risks of stenting?

Angioplasty with a stent has some risks, including infection, irregular heartbeat, allergic reaction, bleeding from the catheter site, and damage to the kidneys. In some cases, restenosis can occur. This is where excess tissue grows around the stent. This can block or narrow the artery again. Doctors can recommend a medication coated stent or radiotherapy to slow tissue growth.

A stent can cause a blood clot, which might increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. Doctors will typically prescribe some drugs to prevent clotting. These anti-clotting medicines can carry side effects that can cause irritating problems like rashes. A person’s body might reject the stent or have an allergic reaction to the metal in the stent in a few cases. If you have reactions to certain metals, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

Stenting can treat all arterial problems and enables normal blood flow from the heart to other body parts. It can also provide better results, but it is not a complete cure for heart diseases. You have to address other contributing factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight. If you address these issues, you will have a healthy heart without diseases.