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Coronary Stents

Coronary Stents

Coronary angioplasty and stenting is an invasive procedure, which is performed in our catheter laboratory (cath lab) at Basingstoke Heart Centre. Coronary angioplasty is similar in principle to a coronary angiogram. During angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel, usually in the groin or wrist, and guided to the site of the narrowed or blocked artery in the heart. Once in position, a tiny balloon is inflated to compress the plaque buildup or blockage against the artery walls, widening the narrowed segment and restoring blood flow. To help keep the artery open and prevent restenosis (re-narrowing), a small metal mesh tube called a stent is often implanted during this procedure. Coronary stents act as scaffolding, supporting the artery walls and keeping them open. After the stent is deployed, the balloon is deflated, and the catheter is removed. The stent remains permanently in place, providing ongoing support to the treated artery.

Angioplasty and stent placement are performed under local anaesthetic and mild sedation.
Given its invasive nature, angioplasty and stent placement come with a small risk—approximately 1 in 100—of serious complications. These may encompass stroke, heart attack, mortality, and the necessity for bypass surgery.

Coronary angioplasty and stenting require the administration of two crucial medications: aspirin and a secondary antiplatelet drug, typically clopidogrel. This commonly performed interventional cardiology procedure aims at improving blood flow to the heart muscle and relieving symptoms such as chest pain (angina) or less frequent shortness of breath. . It is also utilised to treat acute heart attacks.

Depending on the complexity, coronary angioplasty and stenting can take up to 60mins and, as mentioned above, are performed at our Heart Centre in Basingstoke. 

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