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A cardiac stent is a device that’s used during an angioplasty procedure to open up narrowed and/or blocked arteries. If you have coronary artery disease you might benefit from undergoing angioplasty at COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, California. The practice’s experienced team of board-certified cardiologists has considerable expertise in doing procedures like angioplasty with stent. Call our Los Angeles offices today to find out more or book an appointment online.
A cardiac stent is a tube typically made of metal mesh that fits inside your arteries. Stents are used as part of a procedure called angioplasty to open up arteries clogged with plaque.
Plaque is a sticky substance composed of cholesterol and waste products. It forms in your blood and then over time attaches itself to the walls of your arteries. This causes atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries that reduces blood flow.
If there’s not enough room in your arteries for the blood to flow properly, your heart can’t get sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Narrowed arteries can lead to heart conditions like:
Angioplasty with stent can open up the narrowed or blocked arteries and improve the circulation of blood around your heart.
Angioplasty with cardiac stent is a less-invasive option to treat atherosclerosis than coronary artery bypass surgery. (A bypass procedure is a lot more invasive and causes more tissue damage. That means more pain after your surgery, and it takes longer to heal.)
The first stage of your operation is cardiac catheterization. Your cardiac team gives you a sedative to keep you relaxed and untroubled, then an anesthetic to numb the spot where the catheter goes in.
The catheter goes into one of your arteries, either in your groin or your arm. A catheter is a slim tube inside a plastic sheath that’s the right size to fit inside the artery. When the catheter is in place, an injection of a dye or contrast liquid goes from the catheter into your artery.
The dye shows up on X-ray, so your cardiologist can see which parts of your arteries are narrowed.
Cardiac stents are fitted during your angioplasty procedure. When your cardiologist can see where the narrowing is inside your arteries, they use the catheter to place a special balloon at the point where the artery narrows.
The balloon carries the stent into place. Your cardiologist inflates the balloon very carefully, so the stent expands to fit the space. When they deflate the balloon, the cardiac stent remains in place, holding your artery open.
In the weeks following your angioplasty with stent, the artery heals around the stent. Stents are an expandable mesh, typically metal, although stents are now available made of a substance your body eventually absorbs.
If you’re facing the prospect of undergoing surgery for a heart condition, talk to the expert team at COR Healthcare Medical Associates about angioplasty with stent. Call today or book an appointment online.