How Does a Heart Stent Surgery Work? Unveiling the Procedure for Heart Diagnosis

Heart Stent Surgery | Sriramakrishnahospital

A stent is a significantly thin or slender tube usually placed in an artery or a vein that helps it keep open to allow the blood to flow normally. Usually, the stents are made of medical-grade metal in the form of a mesh; at times, they are also made with fabric-like material. However, the fabric stent is only used for larger arteries. 

Other types of stent are also available that are coated with medicine and dissolve over time; although the blood absorbs the medication, the artery is not closed again. 

Why is a stent placed?

Stents are usually placed when there is a blockage in the artery. This blockage may occur due to the buildup of plaque in people with high cholesterol levels. When the plaque builds up, the blood flow can be restricted, and the heart may pump even harder or even stop pumping, leading to a heart attack. In such cases, a stent is placed to widen the artery after breaking up the plaque. 

Usually, an angiogram stent is placed after an angiogram is performed. Both angiogram and angioplasty go hand-in-hand. An angiogram involves examining blood vessels using a special dye that helps to view the blood vessels and the blood flow. An angioplasty is performed to widen the artery if a blockage is shown. There are various types of angioplasty that include stents and balloon valvotomy. Depending on your condition and requirement, the doctor may recommend the procedure. 

How big are the stents?

Heart stents are usually tiny; a stent may measure 10-25 mm long and has a diameter of 3 to 5 mm roughly. 

What is the purpose of heart stents?

  • Though tiny, these mesh tubes are essential devices to keep the blocked artery open and prevent the closure of the artery.
  • It is performed through angioplasty to treat heart attack or even when the plaque buildup restricts blood flow. 
  • In case the artery is widened using a balloon without the placement of a stent, the artery may fall back again and narrow the way of blood flow. 
  • This may not happen in all cases, but there are chances for the recurrence of a narrowed artery to be higher. 
  • In the majority of cases these days, a heart stent is placed only if the artery is either too small or too large; a stent may not be placed. 

How is a heart stent placed?

  • A long, slender, hollow tube is generally passed through the groin or wrist to the narrow tube.
  • The tube navigation can be controlled with the help of X-rays.
  • At the top end, a deflated balloon, along with the stent, is sent to the narrowed artery.
  • Once the catheter reaches the blockage’s location, the balloon is inflated, which helps widen the artery. 
  • The stent is placed after the balloon widens the artery to the desired level. This fits into the artery. 
  • The balloon is then deflated, and along with the catheter, it is then removed, keeping the stent in place. 
  • This whole procedure can take about 30-40 minutes. 

Is the heart stent surgery painful?

The coronary angiogram procedure is a painless procedure. Before inserting the catheter, you are provided with a local anesthetic and will feel a thing. But there may be a slight chest discomfort due to the inflation of the balloon; it usually subsides after a few hours of the procedure. Reach out to the best angiogram center in Coimbatore to ensure you are the best 

What is involved in the recovery after the heart stent surgery?

For a coronary angiogram test, the recovery is relatively quick, especially when the wrist is used to send the catheter. The patient can walk, stand up and take a few steps after the procedure. If the groin is used, the patient might need to lie down for a couple of hours to ensure no immediate bleeding. After the procedure, the patient may be kept under observation for about 4-6 hours.

Usually, the day after the procedure should seem fine. But it is important to take it slow and avoid lifting heavy weights or even performing heavy exercises. In case a heart stent is placed after suffering a heart attack. Depending on how severe the heart attack was, the recovery may perhaps require a little more time. 

How long does a stent remain in the body?

Stents are usually permanent and remain in the body for a lifetime. Although if there is a recurrence, you may need to undergo the stent surgery again. 

What are the benefits of undergoing heart stent surgery?

There are various benefits of undergoing coronary angiogram procedure; the most common ones include the following:

  • They can be performed to prevent a heart attack
  • It helps in improving the symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath
  • It helps in enhancing the blood flow
  • It prevents the arteries from getting narrowed again. 
  • The recovery is also quicker when compared to heart bypass surgery.

Important Takeaway:

Although stents are an effective way to prevent heart attacks and improve blood circulation, even after the stent surgery, you need to make sure that you follow a healthy lifestyle and get regular health checkups, reducing the risk of developing a heart attack. Contact the best cardiologist in Coimbatore to undergo a coronary angiogram from the experts.

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