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Coronary stenting

Coronary Stenting

 Over time high colesterol levels lead to fatty and calcium plaques building up on the walls of blood vessels, which may cause the arteries to narrow down and hinder free blood flow. When coronary arteries (small blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen rich blood) get partially or fully blocked, several treatment options are available, but nowadays minimally invasive surgical procedures prevail. 

The most common surgical solution for this type of heart disease is coronary stunting that must be preceded by coronary angioplasty (or percutaneous coronary intervention), a procedure to widen the narrowed artery section with the help of an inflatable balloon. Coronary artery stenting includes the permanent placement of a small, metal mesh tube at the site of angioplasty to keep the artery open. In some coronary stenting, the small tube is covered with a drug eluting coat  releasing a substance that prevents re-narrowing (restenosis).

What Conditions Are Treated With Coronary Stenting?

  • Coronary heart diseaseCoronary-stenting_Small
  • Angina
  • Heart attack

Coronary Artery Stenting – The Procedure

Coronary stenting is considered a minimally invasive procedure completed within one or two hours, depending on how many artery sections are narrowed. Due to its nature, it does not require general anesthesia, but only local numbing and sedation. Coronary stunting is a much preferred alternative for coronary bypass surgery, as the latter involves an invasive operation with longer recovery time, more bleeding and discomfort.

The major steps of angioplasty and coronary artery stenting include:

  1. A long, thin catheter is introduced into the artery that has an inflatable balloon at its tip.
  2. With the help of X-ray it is led to the site of the stenosis or blockage.
  3. Reaching the targeted area, the balloon is inflated, which presses the narrowed blood vessels outward and restores blood flow.
  4.  To avoid the complication of the blood vessel collapsing or restenosis, after the above described angioplasty, a coronary artery stenting is performed.
  5. In this case, the catheter,besides the ballon, is equipped with a stent as well, which is placed at the targeted artery passage as the balloon is inflated
  6. After coronary stenting, the biggest threat doctors have to tackle is blood clot formation, which can result in another blockage at the site of the stent. It can usually be prevented by blood thinning medication (aspirin and clopidogrel).
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