Stenting Non-Cardiac Veins and Arteries (Peripheral Stenting) - Medx Health Assistance

Stenting Non-Cardiac Veins and Arteries (Peripheral Stenting)

The majority of patients who have angioplasty also have a stent inserted in their blocked artery. After angioplasty, a stent, which appears like a thin coil of wire mesh, strengthens the walls of their artery and stops it from narrowing again. Here’s what happens during a stent placement:

  • The stent is guided through the artery to the blockage after collapsing around a balloon at the catheter’s edge.
  • The balloon is inflated at the blockage site, and the spring-like stent extends and locks into position inside the artery.
  • The stent stays in the artery permanently to hold it open and enhance blood flow to one’s heart. In some cases, more than one stent might be required to open a blockage.
  • Once the stent is placed, the balloon catheter is deflated and extracted.
  • To see how well blood passes into one’s newly expanded artery, more X-ray images (angiograms) are taken.

Peripheral Stenting is in the peripheral vascular system, which is a part of the circulatory system, consisting of veins and arteries apart from the chest and abdomen (i.e. in the arms, hands, legs and feet). Peripheral stents are small tubular metal scaffolds that can be implanted into peripheral vessels to treat narrowing or blockage of arteries or veins, increasing blood flow. The stent is inserted into the peripheral artery via the catheter. 

The use of peripheral stents in combination with balloon angioplasty is widespread. In angioplasty, a balloon is usually used first to flatten the blockage against the vessel walls, allowing the stent to open up more quickly. It is a minimally invasive procedure that rarely necessitates general anaesthesia. Restenosis or the narrowing of a blood vessel can be prevented with these recent technological advancements. Stents have minimised the risk of restenosis, which is one of the main advantages of coronary angioplasty and has proven to be a viable alternative to bypass surgery. 

Stents are classified into two categories:

  • Bare-Metal Stents, these stents have no special coating.  
  • Drug-Eluting Stents, are medicated ones. These stents help to prevent the growth of scar tissues in the artery lining. 

The majority of the doctors use drug-coated stents during an angioplasty. Drug-eluting stents (DES) and balloons, which are coated with medicine to ensure good circulation in the treated vessel, are now easily available. Drug-eluting stents have a polymer coating over a mesh that releases a drug to help prevent the recurrence of any blockage. This drug/ medication is gradually discharged into the patient’s blood vessel to prevent it from becoming blocked again.

Mostly, drug-eluting stents are chosen over bare-metal stents. Since then, almost six million patients have had drug-eluting stents implanted.

What conditions may require peripheral stents? 

1) Renal Artery Stenosis

2) Peripheral Artery Disease

3) Carotid Artery Disease

PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) is a disorder in which plaque builds up throughout the body, including the arteries that support the legs. When these arteries become substantially blocked, blood flow to the muscles of the legs and feet is diminished, resulting in symptoms like pain and cramps in calves, legs or hips, sores on the toes, feet or legs that won’t heal etc. 

After the stent placement, the doctors might prescribe medications like aspirin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor or prasugrel to eradicate the chance of blood clots forming on the stent.

Blood-thinning medications play a vital role after the stent placement or angioplasty, so it is essential for the individual to follow their doctor’s recommendations about the treatment with blood-thinning medications. People who have had stent placement may need such medicines for six months to a year. 

Although angioplasty and Stenting are usually safe procedures, they do carry the following risks and complications:

  • Weakness or Numbness.
  • Infection or Bleeding where the catheter is placed.
  • Allergy to the contrast dye.
  • Kidney Failure or Reduced Kidney Functions. 
  • Blood Clots.

However, most of these risks and complications are rare and temporary, so much so that the advantages outweigh them. Approximately 5% of patients who have coronary Stenting need non-cardiac surgery within one year of the procedure. 

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