Coronary stents are metal scaffolding devices that hold open the artery after it has been enlarged with a balloon catheter or an atherectomy catheter. Coronary stents are the first devices to show dramatic improvements in the re-narrowing rates from earlier procedures primarily performed by atherectomy catheters or balloon angioplasty catheters. Coronary stents in appropriate patients have reduced the recurrence rate from 30-40% to 20%. A coronary stent is a metal sleeve that is loaded on top of conventional balloon angioplasty catheter. This is placed through the groin or arm as previously described in the angioplasty and atherectomy procedures. The metal stent, however is left behind inside the artery as a scaffolding device. At present, there are four coronary stents that are available for implantation in patients. At UofL Health Cardiology Associates, we have been lucky enough to participate in government and industry supported trials looking at newer coronary stent designs which should prove beneficial to all patients and especially to patients in our practice. It should be noted, however, that coronary stents are not for all types of blockages. They have not shown to be better than previous devices in patients that have small coronary arteries with narrowing. They also have problems in patients that have blockages at branch points and patient that have blockages involving a long segment of a coronary artery.
Whether coronary artery stenting is right for you is best discussed with your cardiologist. Four out of the twelve cardiologists in UofL Health Cardiology Associates perform catheter based intervention of which coronary stenting is one type of intervention. If you wish more information about coronary stents, please E-mail us a message and we will be happy to accommodate your request.
UofL Health Cardiology Associates perform approximately 3,200 invasive cardiology procedures per year. Of these, approximately 2,500 are cardiac catheterizations with 700 catheter based interventions and 100 endomyocardial biopsies.