All the Ins-and-Outs of Stents

What is a Stent?

A stent is a miniature, wire-mesh cylinder that is placed permanently inside an artery to break up arterial blockage that could lead to a heart attack. Arteries can become built up with plaque and reduce blood flow causing chest pain or a heart attack. The stent is placed to open up these arteries, create sufficient blood flow and alleviate symptoms.

How are Stents Placed?

Stents are collapsed and inserted through a small incision made in the wrist or groin. The stent is then maneuvered to the blocked artery and expanded to compress the blockage and increase blood flow. This decreases the risk of heart attack and reduces chest pain drastically.

What are the Benefits of Stenting Compared to other Procedures?

A balloon angioplasty is another procedure that fights plaque buildup in arteries and follows a similar procedure as stenting. The benefit of this procedure, compared to a stent, is that a stent is permanent so the risk of the artery reclosing is reduced. Compared to coronary artery bypass, a stent procedure’s recovery time is significantly shorter. For most stent procedures patients, they can go home same day. In comparison with coronary bypass, it can be up to 6 to 12 weeks.

What is a Drug Eluting Stent?

A drug eluting stent is a useful tool against coronary artery disease, a disease that can interrupt the flow of blood to your heart. Drugeluting stents are more likely to keep the blockage from recurring compared to traditional stents. Unlike the traditional stent, the drug-eluting stent will release medication directly into the patient’s artery. The medication helps prevent scar tissue from forming within the stent and narrowing the blood vessels again, according to Healthline.

What can I Expect during and after the Stent Procedure at FCCI?

FCCI was the first in the region to open a freestanding-outpatient catheterization lab. Our cardiovascular experts utilize minimally-invasive procedures to keep the arteries open and blood flowing. Most procedures last a few hours, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. Most procedures are done through the wrist or groin, resulting in minimal recovery time. Most patients will go home the same day.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of chest pain or a heart attack, please contact us at 904.493.3333 for more information.







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