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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:

  • 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.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you aspirin or other blood thinning medicines before your surgery. Tell your healthcare provider if you have a bleeding disorder. These medicines may make you bleed more than usual.
  • During the stent placement surgery, you may be given contrast dye to help healthcare providers see the artery more easily. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • You may need a Doppler ultrasound or ankle-brachial index test (ABI). Ask your healthcare provider 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 your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • 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:

  • 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 so he can 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.


  • You have a fever.
  • You cannot make it to your surgery on time.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have a nose bleed or any other bleeding that does not stop.
  • Your leg or foot pain suddenly gets worse.
  • You have new pain, such as pain at rest.
  • Your toes or foot suddenly become darker.
  • You have pain or discomfort in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
  • You have weakness in an arm or leg.
  • You become confused, or have difficulty speaking.
  • You have dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss.
  • You have discomfort in your chest that feels like squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded or have trouble breathing.


  • 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.

Care Agreement

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.

© 2016 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 A.D.A.M., Inc. 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.