What Is a Heart Stent Surgery?
The heart doctor may recommend a heart stent surgery if there are narrow or blocked coronary arteries. Like every other tissue, the heart needs oxygen-rich blood to function. The coronary arteries ensure the delivery of blood to the heart. Any blockage in these will reduce the flow of oxygen and essential nutrients, leading to heart disease and heart attack. A heart stent surgery solves this issue by opening the narrowed or blocked arteries. A heart stent meaning a metal mesh tube is inserted that expands inside a coronary artery and prevents it from closing up.
Why do you need heart stent surgery?
A cardiac stent procedure is frequently necessary when plaque obstructs a blood vessel. Cholesterol and other materials that adhere to a vessel's walls make up plaque. The heart stent is required to remove the plaque.
During an emergency heart stent operation, the doctors operate on the patient's heart. If a heart artery known as the coronary artery is blocked, then an emergency procedure is more typical. The doctor will initially insert a catheter into the coronary artery that is occluded. They will be able to perform a balloon angioplasty to remove the blockage. A stent will be implanted in the artery to keep the vessel open.
Stents in cardiology can help prevent aneurysms in the brain, aorta, or other blood arteries from rupturing.
How is a heart stent surgery performed?
Inserting the stent takes place during a heart stent procedure called coronary angioplasty. Depending on the case, the heart stent surgery takes between 30 minutes to 2 hours, although it may last longer.
Doctors use local anesthesia for the whole procedure. If one needs sedatives or pain medications during the process, they will be given through an IV (intravenous) line into the vein.
What happens during the procedure?
A cardiologist then accesses the coronary artery through the groin, wrist, or arm. A catheter with a tiny balloon on the tip is inserted into the artery and guided along to the opening of the left or right coronary artery. The doctor uses an X-Ray to determine which part of the artery needs treatment.
The fatty deposits causing the blockage are squashed by inflating and deflating the balloon several times. The stent for the heart patient will be fitted over the balloon and expands when the balloon gets inflated. It will act like a scaffold that keeps the artery open, restoring proper blood flow to the heart.
Once the doctor confirms that the artery is wide enough for blood to flow correctly to the heart, the balloon and the catheter are removed. The stent is left inside to keep the artery walls open.
What are the benefits of heart stent surgery?
- The quality of life of the patient increases after angioplasty and cardiac stenting.
- The procedure is minimally invasive, and the recovery time is quick.
- The blood flow improves post the procedure and prevents further damage to the heart.
- If one has suffered chest pain and shortness of breath before the surgery, there could be noticeable improvements after cardiac stenting.
- A heart stent operation can be life-saving, especially after a heart attack.
- It will reduce or even eliminate the need for coronary bypass surgery, which is much more invasive and has a longer recovery time.
What are the risks of Heart Stent surgery?
It is important to remember every stent for heart blockage carries an element of risk. Though there aren't many associated with heart stenting, it is beneficial to be aware of those. Some of the risks are:
- The point of insertion of the catheter can bleed or bruise, resulting in an infection.
- The patient could be allergic to the X-Ray dye.
- The coronary artery may constrict after the procedure. This can be avoided with drug-eluting stents rather than bare metal stents.
- Stent thrombosis- A condition that causes blood to clot after stent implantation. However, the doctor will reduce this risk by giving anti-clotting medications. Patients must follow the given instructions and continue the medications as advised.
Heart stent surgery: Before and after
Things to expect before the procedure:
- One will be asked to undergo certain tests like a chest X-Ray, blood tests, and electrocardiogram.
- The doctor may ask the patient to stop taking certain medications.
- Take all the doctor-approved medications with small sips of water on the morning of the procedure.
- Arrange transportation back home as the patient cannot go back alone.
Things to expect after the surgery:
- Post the procedure; the patient might be asked to stay overnight at the hospital.
- The heart will be closely monitored, and the doctor will check how well one responds to the medications.
- One will be discharged after a couple of days. Most people can return to work in a week.
Cost of Heart stent surgery
The total cost may change with different cities. To know the cost of the best stent for heart surgery and get treated at the best cardiology hospital in Hyderabad, please contact Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Lakdi-ka-pul, Hyderabad at (040)2349 1000.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is the heart stent surgery painful?
The procedure is usually painless as one will be given a local anesthetic. One may experience some mild chest pain when the balloon is inflated. But that is normal.
Can it be removed?
The stent is permanent, and the removal cannot occur once it is embedded in the artery. The cells of the artery will eventually grow over the stent.
Is there any possibility of the body rejecting the stent?
There will be no rejection problem as the stent is metal and not made of living tissue. There is almost no risk of an allergic reaction as well.