How is a Coronary Artery Stent Placed?
What does it look like?
A stent is a tiny wire metal mesh tube. It is used to open an artery during angioplasty. The stent
is folded over a balloon catheter (tube). It is then moved into the area of the blockage. When the
balloon is inflated, the stent opens and locks in place.
The stent holds the artery open.
The stent stays in the artery.
The stent improves blood flow to the heart muscle.
The stent relieves symptoms (chest pain).
The inside lining of the artery grows over the metal surface of the stent during the first few
weeks that the stent is there. Patients who have a stent must take one or more blood-thinning
agents. Examples are aspirin and Plavix®. These medicines help reduce the risk of a blood clot
forming in the stent and blocking the artery. Metal detectors do not affect the stent. If you get a
stent, you will spend the night in the hospital.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 6/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
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