Cardiac stents are very small mesh wire tubes. They are used to hold blood vessels
open so that blood can flow through the vessels normally.
Why Are Cardiac Stents Done?
Doctors may place a stent if a blood vessel is too narrow for enough blood to pass
through. Blood needs to get through blood vessels to carry oxygen to different parts
of the heart and the rest
of the body.
How Should We Prepare for a Cardiac Stent?
Your child won't be able to eat or drink for several hours before the cardiac stent
procedure. Tell the doctor about any medicines your child takes. Some might need to
be stopped before the procedure. Also let the doctor know if your child has any allergies.
If your child will stay in the hospital after the procedure, bring toiletries and
other items that will help the stay be comfortable.
What Happens During the Placement of Cardiac Stents?
puts a long, thin tube called a
into a blood vessel, usually in the groin.
The doctor guides the catheter to the heart. A special dye helps the doctor see
the vessels clearly.
Using the catheter, the doctor places a stent in the vessel that needs to be held
When the procedure is done, the doctor removes the instruments and the catheter,
and puts a bandage on the site.
Can I Stay With My Child During the Cardiac Stent Procedure?
Parents cannot be in the operating room, but can wait nearby during the procedure.
What Happens After the Cardiac Stent Placement?
Your child will be watched closely for several hours after the placement. A bandage
on the surgical site will help keep the area from bleeding. Your child will need to
stay lying down with that leg straight until the doctor says it's OK to get up, usually
in 4–6 hours.
The doctor will also talk to you about:
if your child should get up and move if you have a long trip home
when your child can eat and drink
continuing any medicines your child was on before the procedure or starting new
when to remove the bandage
when your child can bathe
when your child can return to school, regular activities, and sports
Are There Any Risks From Cardiac Stents?
Cardiac stents are generally safe. It's common to see bruising at the site where
the catheter was inserted. Sometimes, there can be bleeding at the area.
While uncommon, damage to the blood vessel can happen and a stent can move from
the correct place. Very rarely, there can be serious complications, such as a stroke
or heart attack.
When Should We Call the Doctor?
Call the doctor if your child has:
bleeding where the catheter went in
swelling or redness that gets worse where the catheter went in