Coronary Artery Disease is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans every single year. The condition refers to the clogging of arteries that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even death. Fortunately, there is a treatment called balloon stenting that is used to reopen clogged arteries to allow plenty of space for fresh blood to make its way to and from the heart.
Though balloon stenting is a fairly common procedure, some patients are left with unanswered questions about what they can expect. Here are some of the questions we are asked that may quell your nerves before your upcoming surgery.

How Do Stents Work?
During a balloon stenting procedure, a catheter wire is fed into the affected artery and the tiny wire mesh stent is employed into the problem area. The stent itself acts as a fence to retain plaque and create plenty of space in the artery for blood to flow efficiently. This plaque is a build-up of fatty deposits from extra cholesterol in your blood and the thicker this fatty plaque gets the harder it is for your heart to pump your blood.

Does The Stent Stay In My Body Forever?
Yes, most stents are created to live in your body forever without disrupting your body’s natural functions. Although they are made of metal mesh, stents are scientifically designed not to rust and are perfectly safe in your body. There are different kinds of stents, some which are designed to dissolve in your body and some which emit drugs over time. Your cardiologist will determine which product is right for you, but the majority of stents used today are the traditional wire mesh type.

When Can I Return To My Normal Life?
The actual procedure to insert a stent is relatively short, and unless you’re admitted into the hospital many patients are able to leave and return home the same day. Once you return home you’ll want to take it easy for the first week. Your body needs time to rest and adjust, and after three weeks (with the approval of your cardiologist) you’ll be ready to return to your normal routine.

Will The Stent Fix Me Permanently?
The stent is a tiny little tool that can save lives and improve the quality of your life for years to come. But it isn’t a miracle worker. Plaque can continue to build up even after the stent has been inserted and create subsequent blockages. It’s important to take this opportunity to start a whole new lifestyle. Speak with your cardiologist about diet and exercise routines that will help you from having repeat blockages.

The easy flow of fresh blood in and out of your heart is critical for your health and comfort, and fortunately, the medical community has provided a solution for those whose bodies don’t do this naturally. The stent is an important invention that can make a significant difference in the quality of your life, and in many cases, the stent is actually a lifesaver. If you have more questions about your upcoming balloon stenting procedure, ask your cardiologist. And contact us today to meet a member of our medical team.