Stent: Purpose, Process, And Risks

Medical procedures are known to use equipment to assist in operations. Such tools help in increasing efficiency and speed. The same is achieved with the usage of a stent in treating coronary artery disease. It is a small mesh tube that is made of either stainless steel or chromium alloys. CAD happens when the arteries get blocked with a sticky substance called plaque, a combination of fat, calcium, fibrous tissues, etc.

The tiny tube helps in treating these blocked blood vessels and restoring the blood supply to heart muscles. Hence, if you experience chest pain or exhibit other symptoms of heart problems, doctors recommend angioplasty. This usually involves placing the tube in the opening of the arteries via a catheter.

The procedure is minimally invasive that clears the blockage and blood flow. As a result, it saves your life. Hence, it is a life-saving medical device in heart surgeries. Let us understand it in detail:


The main objective of using stents is they are convenient devices designed to fit the arterial walls. They are made of medically tested and safe materials. As aware, they are needed when the plaque blocks the blood vessels. They are beneficial to conduct a non-invasive procedure during emergencies. They are also helpful in preventing swelling from rupturing in the brain, aorta, or other blood vessels.

They open the passageways and facilitate blood to carry nutrients to other parts of the body from the heart.

Insertion process

There are numerous stenting methods. The doctors decide this based on the severity of your condition. Usually, a small incision is made in the area that reaches the blood vessel. These include the groin or the arm. Then a catheter gets guided through the arterial wall to place the balloon tip on the tube. An imaging tool called fluoroscopy monitor the procedure. Using this, the damaged blood vessel gets located, and blockage gets removed.

Risks involved

Stenting is the most preferred angioplasty procedure as it is minimally invasive. However, it has its share of complications. It is because every medical treatment carries risks. Unexpected challenges may occur on a case-to-case basis. Inserting the stent requires to access the arteries, which are an integral part of the circulation. This leads to increased risks of adverse effects. Some of them include:

  1. Bleeding from the catheter insertion spot.
  2. Kidney damage.
  3. Irregular heartbeat during recovery.
  4. Allergic reaction to dyes or medications used in the process.
  5. Breathing problems due to anaesthesia.
  6. An infection.
  7. Blood clots.
  8. Heart attack in highly complicated cases.
  9. Blockage of the artery due to movement.
  10. Re-narrowing of the artery.

Some of these risks are rare, and the doctor warns you against them before starting the procedure. Life-threatening complications happen when your body is not in a condition to withstand the process. This is usually the case with the elderly. Hence, stent insertion is not advised for them. Other complications like bleeding and infection are treatable with medications.

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