Who Needs a Stent?

Who Needs a Stent?

Chest pain can be very scary, especially if you don’t know the cause. If you have atherosclerosis, the pain is usually due to blocked arteries that decrease blood flow to your heart. This is a serious problem, as it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. However, a stent could be just what you need to prevent these conditions.

Our team at Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants is ready to help when you’ve been diagnosed with atherosclerosis. Along with Dr. Erick Calderon, our expert team determines if you’re a good candidate for stent placement to get you back to your busy life, pain-free.

The facts on stents

A stent is a device that is placed into your arteries to help keep them open when they’re blocked. It’s usually made of a flexible mesh that works to keep your blood flowing freely through your veins.

Stents are often placed during a procedure called an angioplasty, also known as cardiac catheterization. During the procedure, Dr. Calderon uses minimally invasive techniques to insert a small balloon into a blocked or narrowed artery to help open it up.

During an angioplasty, Dr. Calderon often inserts a stent into the problematic artery to ensure it doesn’t become blocked again. The stent is left in place to keep blood moving properly throughout the artery.

However, a stent is only used for certain circumstances. Dr. Calderon assesses your symptoms and history to determine if you need this type of treatment.

Do you need a stent?

Stents are traditionally used when you have atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to your normally flexible arteries becoming stiff. It’s usually caused by a buildup of substances in your arteries; mainly cholesterol and fats. 

The buildup in your arteries is commonly referred to as plaque. This substance accumulates over time, usually because of damage to the inside wall of your artery. Other causes of atherosclerosis may include:

When plaque gets thick over time, your blood has a hard time flowing normally through the blocked artery. This leads to your vital organs getting less than adequate blood flow. 

Atherosclerosis is related to coronary artery disease, which is a condition that may lead to a heart attack or a stroke if left untreated. One of the warning signs that you have this disease is chest pain.

If you’re experiencing chest pain, you need to get emergency care right away. If it’s determined that your chest pain is caused by blocked arteries, Dr. Calderon inserts a stent to not only relieve the pain but restore blood flow.

The stent procedure

The angioplasty procedure is done at the hospital, and you’ll be under sedation for the procedure. You’ll be attached to a heart monitor with electrodes to monitor your vital signs and heart function during the procedure.

Dr. Calderon makes a tiny cut in your groin area, where he then inserts a catheter with a balloon tip. With X-ray guidance and a specialized dye, he watches in real time as the catheter is guided to your coronary arteries.

Once Dr. Calderon finds the area in your artery that’s blocked, he inflates the small balloon to reopen the artery. He then deflates the balloon in order to guide the stent into that area. This allows the artery to stay open, and prevents collapse of the vessel in the future.

After the angioplasty and stent procedure, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for at least a night to monitor your vital signs. The following day, Dr. Calderon checks on your progress and if you’re not experiencing any complications, you should be able to go home.

Don’t let atherosclerosis lead to more severe complications. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Calderon at our office in Sarasota County, Florida. You can also reach out and request an appointment online.

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