Coronary Stents

Heart Stents Save Lives

A stent is a small metal coil or mesh tube that is placed in a narrowed artery to hold it open. Stents in the heart help improve blood flow and some even release medication over a period of time. This reduces the amount of scar tissue that forms inside the artery, helping to prevent restenosis (renarrowing).

Before the Procedure

  • Before your procedure, your doctor will advise you on when to stop eating or drinking before the procedure.
  • Your doctor will also advise you on which medicines you should and shouldn’t take on the day of the stenting.

During the Procedure

  • A stent, which comes mounted on a balloon-tipped catheter, is delivered to the blockage in your artery.
  • The balloon is then inflated, causing the stent to expand.
  • The expanded stent further compresses the plaque in the artery against the arterial wall—thus increasing the blood flow to the heart muscle.

After the Procedure

  • You may need to keep still, with your leg or arm straight, for 2 to 6 hours. How long depends on where the catheter was inserted and how the site was closed.
  • If the insertion site was in your groin, you may be required to lie down with your leg still for several hours.
  • A nurse will check your blood pressure and the insertion site.
  • You may be asked to drink fluid to help flush the contrast liquid out of your system.
  • An adult family member or friend will need to drive you home from the hospital.
  • It’s normal to find a small bruise or lump at the insertion site. This should disappear within a few weeks.