Diagnosis of heart stents
Preparation for a stent procedure is pretty straightforward. It is essential to follow instructions from your medical provider to allow for the best possible outcome. Generally, you will not be allowed to eat or drink six to eight hours before your procedure, and you will need to come prepared with a list of all medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medicines and herbal supplements).
As with any procedure, you will also need to disclose if you have any allergies, have reacted to contrast material or iodine before, could be pregnant, or are taking Viagra.
Cardiologists, vascular surgeons, and interventional radiologists all perform heart stent placements in a hospital. The procedure can take from 30 minutes to several hours, depending upon the complexity of your condition. You'll need to lie still for several hours afterward. For larger vascular stents, you will likely stay overnight in an intensive care unit
stent placement involves inserting a catheter into an artery, usually in the groin. Your doctor feeds the catheter to the diseased artery using x-ray guidance. Then he or she injects a dye to help view your artery better on x-ray. Once the catheter reaches the blockage, a balloon or laser device opens the artery. Then, the doctor places the heart stent using miniature instruments at the tip of the catheter.
Generally, patients don't need to stay in the hospital for more than two days, and many don't even need to stay overnight at all. You'll need to take it easy for a few days after your procedure. Most people return to work within a week. It may be longer before your doctor approves exercise and strenuous activities. Your doctor may also recommend rehabilitation.
Heart stent placement may not prevent future problems with your arteries. As long as you have risk factors, artery disease is a possibility.
You can take the following steps to reduce your risk:
- at a heart-healthy diet
- ▪Maintain a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Reduce stress
- Don't smoke
- Treat other medical conditions
Talk with your doctor if you're struggling in any of these areas.
Because stenting increases blood flow through your previously blocked or narrowed artery, you should expect to feel significantly less chest pain. Exercise should become easier for you, as well. It does not mean, however, that your heart disease has gone away. You may experience similar symptoms as before your procedure, in which case you should contact your doctor.
Making healthy lifestyle choices will help keep your heart healthy and reduce the chances you’ll need another stent procedure or coronary artery bypass surgery.
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.