Stent Placement
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Stent Placement

Stent placement is a minimally invasive procedure for narrowed or blocked blood vessels caused by arterial or venous diseases. Stents are often used when angioplasty alone is insufficient to open a blocked artery or vein.

Stent placement can restore blood flow and significantly improve your quality of life, including physical functioning and mental, emotional and social well-being. It can also make you less reliant on medication.

At Vascular and Interventional Partners in Phoenix, AZ, our team of specially trained interventional radiologists works daily to exceed our patients' expectations. We bring a full range of medical capabilities and extensive experience to deliver excellence to every patient. We invite you to contact us and request a consultation today.

What is Stent Replacement?

Diseases that affect the peripheral blood vessels are a leading cause of death worldwide. Most of these conditions are characterized by blocked or collapsed blood vessels, which prevent normal blood flow and can lead to heart attack, stroke, or leg pain called “claudication”. Patients diagnosed with these conditions can improve their outcomes with medication or minimally invasive procedures like stent placement.

What is Stent Replacement?

Stent placement, also known as stenting, is a nonsurgical procedure for narrowed or blocked arteries and veins resulting from cardiovascular diseases, including:

  • Carotid artery disease
  • Aortic and brain aneurysm
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Narrowing of the renal arteries

The stent placement procedure involves placing a specially designed metal tube (stent) inside the blocked blood vessel to open it and restore normal blood flow. Doctors commonly perform an angioplasty (balloon expansion of the vessel) before placing a stent. Once placed, the stent stays inside the blood vessel permanently to ensure it remains open.

Stents are usually made of expandable metal material, and can sometimes have a specially designed coating or covering. Some stents are coated with slow-releasing drugs that prevent the vessel from narrowing again.

What to Expect During Stent Placement

As an interventional radiology (IR) procedure, stent placement involves using catheters and x-ray image guidance to deliver stents to place the stent and restore normal blood flow to blocked or collapsed blood vessels.

Before the procedure, you will receive sedatives, including pain-relieving medications. Your doctor may also give you medications that thin the blood and prevent blood clots. Patients are rarely put under general anesthesia for stent placements; most are under “conscious sedation,” meaning the patient is relaxed and sleepy, but breathing independently without a breathing tube.

Once you’re ready to undergo treatment, you will lie on a padded table. Your VIP doctor will make a small puncture, most likely in the groin area, and insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into your artery. Using real-time x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy), the doctor will guide the catheter toward the affected area of the blood vessel.

Contrast dye is injected into the area once the catheter is in place. This allows the doctor to see inside your blood vessel and locate the blockage on X-ray images called angiograms. Once the blockage has been identified, your doctor will inflate a small balloon containing the stent at the end of the catheter to open the blood vessel and improve blood flow.

After the vessel is expanded, your doctor will deflate the balloon and remove all catheters. The stent is left in the blood vessel to keep it open. You will be monitored for a couple of hours following surgery and discharged on the same day.

How to Prepare

How to Prepare

During your consultation at Vascular and Interventional Partners, we will provide you with detailed instructions on preparing for this procedure.

We will take a thorough look at your medical history and perform blood work and other medical testing to determine if this treatment is right for you. You will need to disclose any medications and dietary supplements you are currently taking.

We may ask you to stop using blood-thinning medication and supplements, like aspirin, Warfarin and vitamin E, for a period before your procedure. You will need to avoid all food and drink on the night before your procedure and have someone ready to drive you home upon your discharge.

Benefits
vs
Risks

Like all medical procedures, there are both benefits and risks involved in stent placement.

Benefits
  • Stent placement can help save a life or save a limb for many patients
  • It can significantly improve quality of life and prevent damage to the brain, heart and other organs
  • As a non-surgical procedure, there is no need for large incisions, stitches or general anesthesia
  • Recovery is quick, with most patients resuming day-to-day activities within a week following the procedure
  • Low risk of infection and other complications
  • Minimal blood loss and pain
Risks
  • An allergic reaction to dyes or medications used in the procedure
  • Bruising or prolonged bleeding at the puncture site
  • Recurrence of disease
  • Blood clots forming in the vessel
  • Heart attack
  • Pulmonary embolism, mostly related to venous procedures
  • Infection
  • Kidney problems due to the dye and medications used during the procedure

Learn More

At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we know that cardiovascular diseases can cause uncomfortable symptoms, reduce a person’s quality of life and even put their lives at risk. We also know that patients prefer the most effective and minimally invasive treatment options available, so we help our patients find a long-lasting solution to obstructed blood vessels by performing stent placements.

To learn more about this procedure and find out if it's right for you, contact the VIP team online or call us today at (480) 435-9100.

Schedule A Consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does stent placement take?

The duration of a single stent placement procedure depends on how complex your condition is and what exactly is being treated. In general, this procedure does not take longer than 1 – 2 hours to complete.

Is stent placement a major surgery?

Stent placement may be a life-saving procedure, but it is not a major surgery in the same way, say, open heart surgery is. It is minimally invasive and very safe compared to surgery. 

Is stent placement safe?

Stenting is a safe technique, with only about two percent of people developing blood clots in the weeks to months after the procedure.

How long is recovery from stent placement?

Most patients can resume their normal daily life within a couple of days to a week following stent placement. Recovery may take longer if you develop complications.

Can I drive after stent placement?

We do not recommend driving right after this procedure. It is best to ask someone to take you home after your stent placement. You can drive as soon as you feel like you have recovered from your treatment.

Is angioplasty the same as stent placement?

No. An angioplasty is when a balloon is used to open up obstructed blood vessels, but does not necessarily require a stent. Stent placement is usually performed in conjunction with an angioplasty.