Skip to Content

Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement


Coronary intravascular stent placement is a procedure to place a stent in an artery of your heart that has plaque buildup. Plaque is a mixture of fat and cholesterol. A stent is a small mesh tube made of metal that helps keep your artery open. Your caregiver may place a bare metal stent or a drug-eluting stent (DES) in your artery. A DES is coated with medicine that is slowly released and helps prevent more plaque buildup in the area where the stent is placed. The stent remains in your artery for life. You may need more than one stent.


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 develop a hematoma (swelling caused by collection of blood) or bleed more than expected from your catheter site. The dye used during this procedure may cause an allergic reaction or kidney problems. You may develop an infection.
  • Your artery may be injured when the catheter is inserted. During or after surgery, blood clots may form, or plaque may break off. The blood clot or plaque may block your artery and cause a heart attack or stroke. The stent could collapse, or a clot could form on the stent. This could cause the artery to become blocked again. You may need another procedure to open your artery. If you do not have this procedure, plaque may continue to build up in your arteries. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.


Before the procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Blood tests are done to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
  • Heart monitoring is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • A sedative will be given to you right before the procedure. This medicine may make you feel sleepy and more relaxed.
  • Blood thinner medicine will be given to prevent clots from forming during and after the procedure.

During the procedure:

  • You will receive local anesthesia that will numb the area where the catheter will be placed. You will be awake during the procedure so that your caregivers can give you instructions. You may be asked to cough or hold your breath during the procedure.
  • A catheter (long, thin tube) is put into an artery, usually in your groin. The catheter is gently guided through this artery to your heart and into the narrowed or blocked artery. Caregivers will use x-rays and dye to find the area where the stent needs to be placed. You may feel warm as the dye is put into the catheter. A guidewire is then placed into the catheter. The balloon catheter is guided into the narrow or blocked artery using the guidewire. Caregivers inflate the balloon several times for short periods. The inflated balloon pushes the plaque against the artery walls. This opens them and allows more blood flow to your heart. Another balloon catheter with a stent is then inserted into the artery. The balloon is inflated. This expands the stent and pushes it into place against the artery wall. The stent will be left in your artery to help keep it open.

After the procedure:

The catheter and guidewire will be taken out of the artery and a pressure bandage will be put on the area. Your caregiver may apply a collagen plug or other closure device to stop the bleeding. Caregivers will put pressure on the bandaged area to help stop bleeding. They may use their fingers or a mechanical device to apply the pressure. You will be taken to a room to rest. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. You may need to lie still and flat for 3 to 6 hours after the procedure to prevent bleeding. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Coronary Intravascular Stent Placement (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes