A stent is a tiny tube made of metal or plastic used to expand the narrow arteries or strengthen the weak arteries. The primary use of a stent tube is to improve blood flow and help prevent heart attack.
In many cases,It is coated with medicines to prevent the arteries from blocking. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty is used to place a stent in the heart.
Purpose of placing the stent in the body:
Placing a stent in the body removes the plaque from blood vessels and improves blood flow. Plaque is a waxy substance made up of cholesterol that blocks the walls of arteries in the heart. It is mainly used in emergency procedures when the arteries of the heart, such coronary artery, are blocked due to plaque.
The doctor will place a catheter in the coronary artery to remove the blockage by performing balloon angioplasty. Afterward, they will place a stent in the arteries to keep them open.
Moreover, It helps prevent aneurysms from rupturing in the brain, aorta, and other blood vessels. The stent will also be helpful in opening the following passageways:
- Small airways named bronchi
- The uterus carries urine from the kidney to the bladder
- The bile duct that regulates the digestion process
Procedure to insert a stent in the body:
1. Before stent insertion:
It would help if you prepared yourself for a stent insertion as per your doctor’s advice. If it is going to be placed in your blood vessels, you must follow the essential steps;
- Discuss your complete medical history with your doctor.
- Avoid using drugs such as aspirin, clopidogrel, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid drinking water or fluid at least 12 hours before your surgery.
- Try to arrive at the hospital before due time to prepare for surgery.
- Use the prescribed medicines by your doctor.
2. The procedure of stent insertion:
There are several ways to insert the stent into a human body. Most doctors insert it in the body by a minimally invasive procedure. In this process, the doctor made a small cut in a specific body place and inserted a catheter that guided the specialized tolls to reach a particular area for the insertion.
This cut usually takes place in the groin or arm. The tolls inserted in the body are attached to a camera to guide the doctor about the exact place to insert a stent. The doctor may also use an angiogram imaging technique to show the insertion at the desired place. After the procedure, they will remove the instruments from your body and close the cut with stitches.
After stent insertion:
Following are the things you need to perform after stent insertion;
- Use mild pain killers recommended by your doctor to treat the pain, soreness, or itching at the incision site.
- Use anticoagulant medicines prescribed by your doctor.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions if he finds it suitable to keep you in hospital overnight or longer according to your condition.
- After reaching home, avoid physical activities for some time and take proper medications.
Surgical procedures for stent insertion in specific areas of the heart and arteries are another risk for the patient. The complication associated with the insertion of a stent includes;
- Allergic reaction, itching or soreness at the place of incision
- Blockage of arteries
- Breathing problems when stent inserted in bronchi
- Heart attack
- Blood clots
- An infection in vessels
- Kidney stones in ureters
- Narrowing of arteries
- Infection at the place of incision
- Damage in kidneys
- Irregular heartbeat
After the successful surgery, the patient’s problems before surgery, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, become less. Many people return to their normal activities after a week of their surgery. The doctor may recommend an antiplatelet drug such as aspirin to prevent the blood clots near the stent and other drugs such as P2Y inhibitors (clopidogrel, ticagrelor, and prasugrel).
Some stents are inserted permanently in the body, while some of them dissolve over time after removing plaque in vessels. The doctor will recommend the following lifestyle changes after the insertion in the body:
- Taking a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid smoking or use of tobacco
- Reduce stress
- Take medicines on time
- www.docdoc.com/medical-information/procedures/stent-consultation retrieved on March 03, 2022.
- https://www.healthline.com/health/stent retrieved on March 03, 2022.
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-angioplasty/recovery/ retrieved on March 03, 2022.
- https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324222#risks retrieved on March 03, 2022.
- https://youtu.be/sfemrawMfT4 retrieved on March 03, 2022.