If you have atherosclerosis, a condition where your arteries have become narrow, you may benefit from having stents inserted to open your arteries. Erick E. Calderon, MD, FACC, FSCAI, at Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants in Bradenton, Florida, provides stents during angioplasty procedures to open clogged heart arteries. If you have atherosclerosis, book an appointment online or over the phone to see if getting a stent can help you.
A stent is a small mesh tube that Dr. Calderon places into narrowed arteries to create more room for your blood to flow freely. A stent acts like a tiny piece of scaffolding, holding your blood vessel open. Stents also reduce your risk of the blood vessel narrowing again. Certain types of stents may also include slow-release medication to help keep your blood vessel open. Dr. Calderon usually places stents during an angioplasty procedure.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure in which Dr. Calderon inflates a tiny balloon inside a narrowed or blocked artery. The balloon opens the artery, and he may place a stent to prop open the artery to allow for efficient blood flow. Dr. Calderon may also insert an implantable cardiac monitor during an angioplasty.
If you have atherosclerosis, your arteries are narrowed by fatty deposits, cholesterol, and other substances. These deposits can prevent your blood from flowing efficiently through your body. This condition can strain your heart, cause high blood pressure, and lead to heart attack, stroke, and other problems.
In many cases, Dr. Calderon will try less invasive procedures to treat atherosclerosis. For example, if your condition is in the early stages, he may recommend lifestyle modifications, such as eating a low-fat, low-salt diet and doing more exercise. He may also prescribe medication to reduce your cholesterol and help your blood flow better.
All angioplasty and stent placement procedures are performed at a local hospital. Dr. Calderon will decide on the sedative depending on your procedure. Electrodes attached to your chest will monitor your heart function throughout the treatment.
Dr. Calderon will begin by making a small incision in your groin area. He’ll then insert a catheter into a blood vessel and guide it to your heart and coronary arteries. Then he’ll inject a radioactive dye and take X-ray images of the dye as it illuminates the chambers of your heart and coronary arteries. This will help him see precisely where to inflate the balloon and place the stent.
He’ll then gently inflate the tiny balloon inside of your clogged artery to open it. After deflating and removing the balloon, he’ll guide a stent through your catheter and place it in your newly widened artery.
After your angioplasty and stent placement, you’ll stay overnight so your recovery and heart function can be monitored. In most cases, you can return home the following day.
To learn more about stents, book an appointment online or over the phone with Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants today.