If you have a narrowed or blocked artery, your risk of a heart attack or stroke drastically increases. At Sunnyvale Cardiology in Sunnyvale, Texas, cardiologists Prasad Maddukuri, MD, FACC, MRCP, Saleem H. Mallick, MD, FACC, and Larry Moore, MD, FACC, insert cardiac stents during angioplasties to open blockages and lower your risk of life-threatening complications in the future. Call Sunnyvale Cardiology to learn more about cardiac stents or schedule an appointment online today.
An angioplasty is a procedure your cardiologist uses to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to your heart. During the procedure, he places a stent, or a small metal mesh tube, that expands inside of a coronary artery to open it up and prevent future blockages.
Your cardiologist lets you know if a cardiac stent is right for you based on your symptoms and results of heart function or imaging tests. Symptoms of atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, include:
You might not experience symptoms with atherosclerosis, but if you’re at risk of developing it, your cardiologist may recommend heart function or imaging tests for early detection.
Follow your cardiologist’s instructions prior to cardiac stent placement. You might require routine blood or imaging tests prior to the procedure or be instructed to avoid eating and drinking 6-8 hours before surgery. Take all your medications with you to surgery and arrange for someone to drive you home.
Your cardiologist uses local anesthesia during cardiac stent placement, so you’ll be awake during the procedure but sedated. He places antiseptic solution and a sterile sheet over your body and applies electrode pads to your chest to monitor your heart. You’re also given an IV containing fluids and medications.
Your doctor makes a very small incision in your skin and threads a thin tube (catheter) into an artery in your groin or another blood vessel that’s narrow or blocked. A small balloon at the end of the catheter inflates and widens the artery. Your cardiologist places a stent, or tiny coil of wire mesh, in the artery to keep it open.
The procedure might take several hours to complete. You may feel slight pressure during catheter insertion or stent placement but shouldn’t feel sharp pain. After the procedure, you recover in the hospital and stay there a day or two, so your doctor can monitor your heart and adjust medications if necessary.
Follow your doctor’s discharge instructions after surgery. Take prescribed medications, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid strenuous activity until your cardiologist gives you the go-ahead. Attend follow-up visits at Sunnyvale Cardiology so your doctor can monitor the health of your heart and blood vessels.
If you suspect atherosclerosis or another blood vessel or a heart condition, call Sunnyvale Cardiology today or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.