Questions and Answers – Getting a Stent Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Overview

As you prepare for your stenting procedure, you will have questions for your doctor. Following are some questions and answers that you may want to discuss with him or her. Don’t be shy. When it comes to your surgery, you should learn as much as you can.

Why has my doctor recommended stenting?

You have heart disease. Most likely your doctor has recommended medication and lifestyle changes that have not been enough to reduce the effects of your clogged arteries.

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What is an angiogram?

If your doctor feels that stenting is the right choice for treating your coronary artery disease (CAD), he or she will give you an imaging test called an angiogram. The angiogram helps your doctor see if your blocked coronary arteries can be treated with angioplasty or stenting.

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What is angioplasty?

Angioplasty is a procedure that uses a balloon to open up blocked areas of your coronary arteries. It is performed to relieve some of the symptoms associated with CAD. Sometimes it is performed during a heart attack to prevent damage to the heart.

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What is the stent for?

For most patients, the doctor decides that a balloon alone is not enough to keep the coronary artery from narrowing. The stent is a small metal-mesh tube that is implanted in the area of your coronary artery opened by the balloon to help keep it from reclogging. Some stents are designed to deliver medication to the artery to help keep it open. After the stenting procedure, the balloon is removed from your artery, but the stent will remain in your coronary artery to help keep it open.

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How do I prepare for stenting?

Your doctor will give you a complete medical exam and provide you with detailed instructions. When you arrive at the hospital, you can expect to have a series of routine tests, such as an x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or blood tests.

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What else should I know?

Above all else, follow your doctor’s instructions. And don’t forget to arrange for transportation from the hospital to your home after the procedure.

If you have any questions or concerns about the stenting procedure, discuss them with your doctor well in advance of the procedure.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • Take medication
  • Cannot take aspirin
  • Have a history of bleeding problems
  • Are planning to have surgery or a colonoscopy soon

 

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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.