Your stent procedure will be done in a specially equipped room in the hospital called a cardiac catheterization lab. The procedure will be done by an interventional cardiologist, a doctor who specializes in angioplasty and stenting. Your care team will also include nurses and catheterization lab technicians.
Your doctor will decide which site on your body would be the best place to access one of your arteries – your groin area, wrist or arm. The selected area will be cleaned, shaved and numbed with a local anesthetic. If you know in advance that you will be receiving a coronary stent, your doctor will ask you to follow certain instructions to prepare for your stent procedure.
Your doctor needs to know what other medications you are taking. In most cases, you should take any medications that you usually take, especially blood pressure medications. Check with your doctor about which ones to take and which ones not to take.
Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you:
Your doctor may have you take aspirin and other medications for several days before you get your stent. These medications will help prevent blood clots from forming during the stent procedure.
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a period of time before your procedure. If your doctor wants you to take your regular medications, you may take them with a little water.
Stents are inserted into an artery through a catheter, similar to an angioplasty procedure. You will lay flat on your back on a table during the procedure. Devices will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.
Your stent procedure will begin with an angiography test to determine the number and exact location of blockages.
After your doctor has determined which, if any, blockages need treatment, he or she will implant the stent:
You should plan to stay overnight at the hospital. You will need to make arrangements to have someone drive you home when you are ready to leave. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions about taking your medications.
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.