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Peripheral Vascular Stent Placement


Peripheral vascular stent placement is surgery to widen an artery in your leg. A stent is a small cylinder-shaped tube used to widen a blood vessel. It can be placed in an artery in your upper or lower leg.


Before your surgery:

  • 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.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.
  • A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine.
  • Local or monitored anesthesia: Anesthesia is medicine that keeps you from feeling pain during surgery or a procedure. Local anesthesia is a shot of numbing medicine put into the skin where you will have surgery. You will be fully awake during the surgery or procedure. You may feel pressure or pushing, but you will not feel pain. Monitored anesthesia means you will also be given medicine through an IV. This medicine keeps you comfortable, relaxed, and drowsy during the surgery or procedure.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

During your surgery:

  • Your healthcare provider will give you an injection of local anesthesia to numb the area and decrease pain. You may also get medicine in your IV to help make you sleepy or calm. Your healthcare provider will make a small incision in your groin, and insert a catheter (thin flexible tube) into the artery of your leg. He will inject contrast dye through the catheter, and take an x-ray to help him find the blockage.
  • He may place a device that looks like a small balloon. He will inflate the balloon to widen the artery. He will remove the balloon and insert in one or more stents to hold your artery open. Healthcare providers will put in more contrast dye, and take another x-ray to check that the stents are open and in the right place.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room where healthcare providers will watch you. A bandage will cover the area in your groin over the wound to keep the area clean and dry. Pressure will be placed on your groin. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be taken back to your hospital room or allowed to go home.

  • Antiplatelets help prevent blood clots. This medicine makes it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.


  • A peripheral artery stent may not decrease your pain or other symptoms. Surgery may increase your risk for infection or bleeding. Your stent may break and block or tear your artery. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening. You may need to have your surgery done again.
  • Without the surgery, your pain may get worse. You may have pain at rest. Over time, you may not be able to walk as well or as far as you were once able. You may develop sores, an infection, or gangrene (dead tissue) on your feet. You may need to have parts of your leg or foot amputated.


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.

Further information

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

Learn more about Peripheral Vascular Stent Placement (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes