Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement
What you should know
Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement (Precare) Care Guide
- Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement Aftercare Instructions
- Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement Discharge Care
- Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement Inpatient Care
- Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement Precare
- En Espanol
Coronary intravascular stent placement is a procedure to place a stent to open blocked coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are vessels in the heart that carry blood and oxygen. These arteries can become narrow, or get blocked by plaque. A stent is a small mesh tube made of metal. It may allow more blood and oxygen to reach all areas of your heart. A drug-eluting stent (DES) is coated with medicine. It may help prevent new plaque from forming in the area of the artery where the stent is placed. Coronary intravascular stents are not removed, and often remain in the blood vessel for life.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, dye, or the stent. This can cause a skin rash, trouble breathing, or kidney problems. During the procedure, you may bleed more than expected and need a blood transfusion. You may need surgery, such as open heart surgery, while the stent is being placed. During or after surgery, blood clots may form, or plaque may break off. The blood clot or plaque may block your artery. The artery that was used for the procedure may not properly close and cause bleeding or a pseudoaneurysm (blood-filled cavity). You may need more treatment or surgery to correct this problem. You may get an infection after the procedure. You may have chest pain, or your blood pressure may go too high or low during or after the procedure. You may get an irregular heartbeat, or have a heart attack or a stroke. These conditions may be life-threatening.
- After your procedure, the wall of your coronary artery may grow weak, tear, or rupture. If this happens, you may need more surgery. Fluid or blood may pool in the space behind your heart, and lead to heart failure. Other organs, such as your lungs and kidneys, may stop working. These problems can be life-threatening. Even after the procedure, the artery may get narrow again. The stent may move out of place, or get blocked. If you do not have this procedure, your coronary arteries will stay blocked. You may have new or more chest pain, and you may have a heart attack.
Before the procedure:
- You may need to take medicine to thin your blood, such as aspirin. This medicine helps prevent blood clots from forming. If you are told to take aspirin, do not take NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen instead. Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using any of your current medicines.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You will be given a dye during your procedure to help caregivers see your blood vessels better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- Tell your caregiver if you know or think you might be pregnant.
- You may need to have blood and urine tests and a chest x-ray. You may also need an EKG and other tests to check how your heart is working. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
The night before the procedure:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of the procedure:
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
What will happen:
- Caregivers will remove hair and clean your arm or groin area where the catheter will be placed. This will help to prevent an infection. You will be given anesthesia medicine to numb your skin. Your caregiver will insert a device called a sheath through your skin until it reaches your artery (blood vessel). The sheath is used to hold your artery open as a catheter is placed in it. The stent that will be used to open your blocked artery is attached to a catheter. It will be threaded through your artery until it reaches the area of the coronary artery that is blocked. X-rays with a monitor will be used to guide caregivers during the procedure. Dye will be put through the catheter to help caregivers see your blocked artery better. The stent will be put in place to hold the blocked artery open.
- If you are having an angioplasty, a catheter with a balloon inside it will be used. Once the catheter reaches the blocked area of the artery, the balloon is filled. This opens the artery by pressing plaque against the inner walls. The stent will be placed, and left inside the artery to hold it open. When the stent is in place, the catheter and sheath will be removed. The place where the catheter went into your skin will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages.
After the procedure:
You will be taken to a room where you can rest until you are awake. To help prevent bleeding and other problems, pressure or a weighted device will be placed on the area of your groin or arm where the catheter was inserted. You may need to lie flat and still in bed for a few hours after the procedure. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure on time.
- You have a fever.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You have pain or discomfort in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
- You have discomfort in your chest that feels like squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded or have trouble breathing.
© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.