- When Is It Needed?
- Surgery Preparation
- Possible Risks
- How Long Does It Last?
A peripheral vascular stent is a small tube made up of a metal that keeps the artery in the arm or leg open.
It is often placed in the artery after a procedure called peripheral artery angioplasty. This surgery involves widening the narrowed arteries of the arm or leg.
When is peripheral vascular stent insertion needed?
The doctor may suggest peripheral vascular stent insertion along with angioplasty when you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to your limbs are narrowed, usually because of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of plaque (cholesterol and other substances) in the walls of the arteries.
The doctor may advise a peripheral vascular stent if you have:
- Severe, debilitating leg pain, or heaviness that increases on walking (claudication)
- Severe, debilitating arm pain, or heaviness that increases on using the arm (claudication)
- Severe limb or arm pain that interferes with your daily functioning
- Severe limb or arm pain that does not respond to lifestyle modification and exercise regimen
- Lack of oxygen (ischemia) to the limb or arm with rest pain
- Ischemic nonhealing ulcers of the limb
- Non-resolving infection or gangrene in the limb
- Dizziness (if PAD of the upper arm)
What is done before the peripheral vascular stent insertion procedure?
- Tell the doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel, warfarin, and pain medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, two weeks before the surgery.
- Your doctor will ask you if you have any allergies.
- Let your doctor know if you are or think you are pregnant or have any underlying conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- If you are into drinking or smoking, they may ask you to avoid them for a few days before the surgery.
- Let your doctor know about any cold, flu, fever, or other illness you may have before your surgery. Surgery may get postponed in case of infections.
- You will likely be asked not to drink or eat anything for several hours before the surgery. Only a few drugs as advised by the doctor can be taken with a small sip of water.
How is peripheral vascular stent insertion done?
Your doctor will inject certain intravenous medications to minimize the pain or discomfort during the surgery. You will remain awake during the procedure.
- They will insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into an artery of your problematic leg or arm.
- They will then inject a dye into your artery via that stent, which will highlight the blockages in the artery that have narrowed it.
The doctor then proceeds to do an angioplasty.
- To perform this, the doctor uses a catheter with a balloon at the tip.
- The doctor then moves the catheter with the balloon at the blockage and then inflates it so that there is more room for the blood to flow.
- Then a stent (peripheral vascular stent) is inserted to keep the artery open, which can also keep small pieces of plaque from breaking off and causing problems.
What happens after the placement of the peripheral vascular stent?
A pressure bandage will be applied to the site of catheter insertion to prevent the area from bleeding. The area will be monitored for any signs of bleeding.
Your vitals, such as pulse, blood pressure, and temperature, will be monitored for several hours after the procedure.
You will need to keep your leg straight and sit still for the entire day. A bag containing weights may be attached to your leg to keep it from moving.
You may have to stay for one or two days in the hospital. After you get discharged, you can most likely return to normal activities.
What are the possible risks of the peripheral vascular stent insertion procedure?
Most of the complications, if any, may result from the site where the catheter was inserted and include:
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness
- Irritation and swelling of the vein (superficial thrombophlebitis)
- A bruise (goes away in a few days)
Serious complications are rare and may include:
How long does a peripheral vascular stent last?
After insertion, a peripheral vascular stent will usually last for a lifetime. There is just a minor chance that the stent will fail, but it occurs usually within six months. Even if it happens, do not worry; the old stent can be replaced with a new stent.
Latest Heart News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Mueller DK. Peripheral Vascular Stent Insertion. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1839716-overview#
Top What Is Peripheral Vascular Stent Related Articles
Can You Reverse Plaque Buildup in Your Arteries?There are two types of cholesterol in your body. Doctors cannot remove plaque completely from your arteries, but treatments can reduce the size of a blockage.
Carotid Arteries Disease PictureAlso called carotid artery stenosis, the term refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. See a picture of Carotid Artery Disease and learn more about the health topic.
How Is Coronary Heart Disease Diagosed?Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease (CAD) screening tests can be used to potentially prevent a heart attack or cardiac event in a person without heart disease symptoms, and can assist in diagnosing heart disease in individuals with heart disease symptoms. Coronary heart disease tests can include electrocardiogram (ECC, EKG), exercise stress test, radionuclide stress test, stress echocardiography, pharmacologic stress test, CT coronary angiogram, and coronary angiogram.
What Is the Difference Between Angiogram and Angioplasty?What Is the difference between an angiogram and an angioplasty? Learn the similarities and differences of these procedures, why you might have one, and what to expect.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
Cardiac Arrest: What You Should KnowCardiac arrest is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. Use this WebMD slideshow to know whether you are at risk for cardiac arrest and what you can do if it happens to a loved one.
Heart Disease SlideshowHeart disease prevention includes controlling risk factors like diet, exercise, and stress. Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk.
Heart Disease QuizTake our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes, symptoms, treatments, testing, and procedures for medically broken hearts.
Am I Having a Heart Attack? Symptoms of Heart DiseaseHeart attacks symptoms vary greatly for men and women, from anxiety and fatigue to nausea and sweating. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and know the symptoms that may require an immediate trip to the hospital.
How Long Do Carotid Artery Stents Last?Carotid angioplasty and carotid stenting are minimally invasive procedures that widen the openings of the clogged carotid arteries to restore blood flow to the brain. They are often performed to treat or prevent strokes. Once placed, the stent permanently stays inside the artery.
How Serious Is A Carotid Artery Surgery?Carotid artery surgery is a surgery to treat carotid artery disease. The carotid artery is the main artery present on both sides of the neck that supplies blood to the brain and face. A buildup of the fatty substance (plaques) can block the blood flow in the carotid arteries entirely or partially, resulting in a stroke.
Peripheral Vascular DiseasePeripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and brain. While there are many causes of peripheral vascular disease, doctors commonly use the term peripheral vascular disease to refer to peripheral artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD), a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis. Peripheral artery disease symptoms include intermittent leg pain while walking, leg pain at rest, numbness in the legs or feet, and poor wound healing in the legs or feet. Treatment for peripheral artery disease include lifestyle measures, medication, angioplasty, and surgery.
Vascular DiseaseVascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system. Vascular disease ranges from diseases of your arteries, veins and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation.
What Is the Difference Between Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis?Arteriosclerosis is a broader term for the condition in which the arteries narrow and harden, leading to poor circulation of blood throughout the body. Atherosclerosis is a specific kind of arteriosclerosis, but these terms are often used interchangeably. Both conditions lead to decreased blood flow to other parts of the body. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease, which may either start in childhood or late adulthood.
What Is Renal Artery Angioplasty?Renal artery angioplasty is a procedure to widen the opening of the renal arteries that supply blood to the kidney. Narrowing of the renal artery (renal artery stenosis) is the leading cause of this artery obstruction.