Stenting is a catheter-based procedure in which a stent (a small, expandable wire mesh tube) is inserted into a diseased peripheral artery to hold it open. Currently, stenting is performed most often in conjunction with other catheter-based procedures, such as balloon angioplasty or laser.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure (take your morning pills with sips of water only).
If the stenting is performed in conjunction with balloon angioplasty: An intravenous catheter (IV) will be started for fluids and medication. A local anesthetic will be used to numb a specific area of your body (usually the groin area where the femoral artery is located). A thin tube with an uninflated balloon at the tip will be guided into the artery. Once the balloon-tipped catheter is at the site of the blockage, the balloon is inflated, pushing the plaque in the artery back against the artery wall. The balloon-tipped catheter is then removed and a stent may be placed to hold the artery open.
If the stenting is performed in combination with balloon angioplasty, it will take approximately one to two hours.