A stent is a small, stainless steel mesh tube that is place within a blood vessel after it has been widened by angioplasty.
- Stents are used to support the walls of blood vessels to prevent collapse after angioplasty.
- Stents are used to hold open blood vessels, bile ducts, or other narrowed areas blocked by tumors or other obstructions. Areas where stents most often used for this reason are:
- the esophagus, to treat blockages or narrowings that make it difficult to swallow
- the bile ducts in pancreas or liver, when an obstruction prevents bile from draining into the digestive tract
- the airways of the lungs, to treat obstructions that interfere with normal breathing
- Stents are used to treat patients with liver disease with a procedure known as TIPS. These patients often experience life-threatening bleeding because their liver is too damaged to handle the normal flow blood. The TIPS procedure creates a connection between two veins and divert the flow of blood away from the liver.
As a result of the stent placement, several points need to be brought to your attention. These points include:
- If you need to have a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) study done, it is important to let your doctor know that you can/should not have a MRI done for at least six weeks.
- The metal detector at airports or other secured areas will not alarm as you pass through.
- Before undergoing any test, x-rays, or procedures (angiogram or catheterization) on your arteries or veins, please let the doctor and assisting personnel know you have a stent in place and where the stent is located. You may need antibiotics before having certain procedures.
For any questions or concerns:
Contact the Radiology and Medical Imaging department at 434-924-9400.