What is a stent, and how does it treat Heart Disease?

Stents are tiny, expandable metal mesh coils inserted into the lumen of an anatomic vessel or duct to keep the passageway open, and stenting is the placement of a stent. It will be used in nearly all angioplasty procedures.

It is primarily used to place into the newly opened area of the artery. Its purpose is to save the artery from narrowing and closing again and again.

Once the stent is placed in the artery, the tissue will coat the stent-like layer of skin. A stent will be covered with the tissues within 3 to 12 months.

It mostly depends on whether the stent has a medicine coating or not on it. You will also be prescribed a medicine called anti platelets to decrease the ‘strictness’ of platelets to prevent blood clots due to stent.

Kinds of stents used in heart disease:

Two kinds of stents are often used in treating heart disease. Most stents are coated with medicines to prevent the scar tissues from forming inside the stent; these stents are called drug-eluting stents. They release medicine in the blood vessels to slow the growth of tissues within the stent, which will prevent the blood vessels from becoming narrow again.

Some stents that do not have medicine coating are called bare-metal stents. They have a high stenosis rate, but they save the patient from the long-term use of antiplatelet medicine. Both are useful in heart disease according to the condition of the patients.

How does it treat Heart Disease?

Purpose of using Stents:

A stent has a significant role in treating heart disease. It always helps you keep your arteries open, which carry the blood from your heart to the other parts of the body and includes the heart muscle itself open.

The coronary arteries deliver oxygen-rich to all of your heart muscles. With the passage over time, plaque can build up into the coronary arteries and limit the blood flow in them, and this disease is known as coronary heart disease.

This disease will damage your heart muscles and is one of the common reasons for heart attack. A cardiac stent is used to treat narrow or blocked coronary arteries, and it will also help improve the blood flow and lower the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

Coronary Angioplasty:

The process used to insert the cardiac stents is known as ‘Coronary angioplasty. It is a non-surgical and minimally invasive process. In this process, a device is designed to keep the patient’s supporting artery walls open and improve the heart’s blood flow.

Angioplasty with stenting is usually recommended for patients with one or two blocked arteries. If they have more than two blocked arteries, bypass surgery is a better option for them.

Before an Angioplasty:

  • Discuss your condition with your cardiologist before deciding to insert a stent in your body through angioplasty.
  • Before your operation, you also have to take your blood tests and a general health check to ensure your suitability for surgery.
  • You have to go through a procedure called an angiogram before your angioplasty. In an angiogram, take a look inside your arteries to check where the blockages are
  • Sometimes, the angiogram and angioplasty will be performed one by one on the same day.
  • You will be allowed not to eat or drink for 4 to 6 hours before the angioplasty has been performed.
  • If you are a diabetes patient, you cannot take your medicines on that day.

How these stents inserted in heart:

  • A doctor will insert a stent in the patient’s body under local anesthesia.
  • Firstly they insert a small injection into your groin, arm, or neck. Then, the doctor will insert a catheter in your heart with a balloon on the tip.
  • Then they will use special dyes and monitors to guide the catheter through the patient’s blood vessels to the blocked or narrowed coronary artery.
  • This will increase the blow flow and expand the stent and stretch of your artery.
  • Finally, the doctor will deflate the balloon, remove that catheter and leave the stent behind in the end.
  • A filter will prevent the plaque and blood clots from being loose and floating freely in the bloodstream during the whole process.

Benefits of Stents:

  • The stenting process will be a lifesaver, especially after a heart attack
  • It improves the blood flow and also prevents further damage to the heart muscles
  • You do not need a major surgery
  • IT improves the symptoms of heart disease, just like, angina, and shortness of breath
  • It helps in making you feel better and able to do more each day
  • It reduces the risk of stroke
  • Improves functioning of heart or kidneys
  • It restores blood flow in the legs to prevent ganger
  • It eliminates the need for amputation
  • It also eliminates the chances of bypass surgery, and it is also less invasive than bypass surgery
  • It only takes a few days to recover from stenting, while it takes a minimum of six weeks to recover from bypass surgery

Risks and complications of cardiac stenting:

  • Just like many other medical procedures, people may experience an allergic reaction to the angioplasty and stenting
  • Angioplasty may cause bleeding, damage your blood vessels, or maybe the reason for an irregular heartbeat
  • Other potential but rare complications include heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke
  • There is also a risk of a blood clot forming within your stent

Proper Medication requires to take care of your stent:

All the risks and complications eliminate when a patient takes his medicines on time, and If you have a bare-metal stent, you have to take medicines once a month to prevent blood clots from forming into the stent. Medication will be required for the drug-eluting stent for at least a year.

Any kind of stent will be inserted into your body; you have to take aspirin for your lifetime. If the patients show any irresponsibility regarding this disease, there is a greater chance of risks and complications.

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