Patient Education about Stent Placement
A stent is a small, stainless steel mesh tube that is place within a blood vessel after it has been widened by angioplasty.
1. Stents are used to support the walls of blood vessels to prevent collapse after angioplasty.
2. 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
3. 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:
1. 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.
2. The metal detector at airports or other secured areas will not alarm as you pass through.
3. 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.
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