A small expandable mesh tube used in treating weak or narrow arteries are called stenting. The procedure of placing the stent in the arteries as a part of certain treatments are called stenting. A stent can help arteries to improve the blood flow. Stent is mostly used in patients with coronary artery heart disease caused due to plaque buildup. Stents can be made up of metal mesh as well as fabric. Stents made up of fabrics are usually used in larger arteries(delete).
The procedure of implanting the stent in the arteries, known as stenting is a minimally invasive procedure. The procedure is similar to that of angioplasty procedure. Usually it is done as a part of other procedures such as coronary angioplasty. During the stenting procedure, the doctor will make a small incision in a blood vessel in the groin area (or in the arm or the neck). The surgeon will then thread a catheter through the incision. A deflated balloon will be attached to the tip of the catheter. Around this deflated balloon, the stent is placed.
The patient may need to stay in the hospital for the stent procedure. Preparations before the procedure should be discussed with the doctor. The procedure steps may vary according to the conditions. For example, it may not be same for Coronary Artery Disease and Aortic Aneurysm. The catheter will be removed from the artery after the procedure. The incision is closed with stitches. During the recovery period, the doctor will check the blood pressure and heart rate regularly. There can be minimal risks and complications after stenting. Constant and large amount of bleeding should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Medicated stents are generally preferred for better long term results. These are metallic stents which have a coating of a special medication such as sirolimus . The medicine releases continuously over a period of 3-6 months preventing new cell growth within he stented area and thus avoiding any reblockage or restenosis of the stented artery. Non metallic biodegradable medicated stents have recently become available. They dissolve over a two year period and there is better moulding of the artery, the long term results of these stents are still awaited.