Q:

How is stent surgery performed?

A:

Quick Answer

During stent surgery, a balloon catheter is inserted into the coronary artery and inflated, allowing the stent to expand to the size of the artery. The catheter is then deflated and removed, while the stent holds the artery open, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

A stent is a metal mesh tube used to provide support to the coronary artery by acting as a scaffold. They are commonly placed during angioplasty, an interventional procedure that opens the coronary artery, and may contain medicine to reduce the risk of reblockage, reports WebMD.

Stent surgery can be performed either through the groin or an arm, and typically begins with an angiography test to determine the number and exact location of blockages to the coronary artery, according to Medtronic. If a stent is required, the surgeon advances a thin wire through a catheter into the coronary artery to the targeted blockage, penetrating the blockage to support the stent delivery system.

A deflated balloon surrounding a stent is advanced along the wire to the blockage, then inflated to widen the artery by forcing the plaque against the artery wall. This expands the stent and locks it in place. The balloon may be inflated additional times to ensure that the stent is firmly pressed against the artery wall, reports Medtronic. X-rays are taken before the balloon catheter, guidewire and guide catheter are removed to determine if the stent is fully open and if blood flow is sufficiently improved,

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