A Coronary Stent is a small expandable tube shaped device used to open narrowed coronary arteries that have interrupted blood and oxygen supply to the muscle of the heart.
Coronary artery disease is a condition in which the coronary arteries become narrowed by fatty deposits from an inflammatory process called atherosclerosis. These build up over time and can block blood flow through the arteries, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your heart. Significant interruption of blood flow causes chest pain and shortness of breath. This is called “Angina”.
A minimally invasive stenting procedure may be performed to open up narrowed arteries. It does not require general anesthesia.
To begin this procedure, an angiogram is performed to visualize narrowed arteries. A needle is placed in an artery and a guide wire is inserted followed by a catheter which is advanced to a coronay artery. Contrast dye is then injected through the catheter. X-ray movies are taken to reveal the position and severity of narrowed area.
Following the angiogram, another guide wire is passed to the site of narrowing. A deflated balloon catheter is inserted over the guide wire. The balloon is inflated to open the narrowed artery and restore blood flow. This is called a balloon angioplasty.
To keep the artery open after the balloon angioplasty a coronary stent is put in place. A balloon catheter with a collapsed stent is inserted and is inflated to open the stent. The wire and catheter are removed and the stent remains in place to keep the artery open.
Visit Houston Cardiovascular Institute Website for more information.