san diego heart surgeons
Enter Keywords:

Advanced Search      

San Diego
4060 Fourth Avenue
Suite 206
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: 619-297-0014
Fax: 619-297-1014

230 Prospect Place
Suite 250
Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: 619-435-1660
Fax: 619-435-6312
Home     |     Back

What should you expect?

The doctor will insert a tiny, flexible plastic tube called a catheter through an artery in our groin, leg, or arm. A special dye is injected so blood flow through the arteries is visible on the TV monitors. The doctor moves a balloon catheter, and then a stent, to the site of the blockage. The balloon is inflated and stretched wide against the artery walls, which opens the blockage. Then the balloon is deflated and taken out, leaving the stent in place.

The procedure may take place right after the arteriogram, which is used to find the blockage, or it may occur the next day.You may need to stay in the hospital two or three days.

During the procedure, the doctor will insert the balloon catheter and inflate it to open the blockage. A stent will then be guided to the site. The doctor may need to use a number of stents to open the whole blocked area. You may feel some discomfort when the balloon is inflated. This will go away when the balloon is deflated. A small tube called a sheath may stay in the artery for two to four hours after the procedure. In some patients, it will stay in place overnight.

After the procedure, you may go to the recovery area or to your hospital room. You must lay flat on your back while the sheath is in place. The head of the bed may be tilted up a little to help you rest. You will be able to bend the other leg to relieve pressure on your back, or the nurse may roll you on your side. If you feel back pain, your doctor can give you medication to make you comfortable. When it is safe to remove the sheath, the doctor or nurse will apply pressure to the area for 20 to 30 minutes. A sand bag and dressing may then be applied. You must stay in bed for another twelve hours. Within a few hours, the nurse will raise the head of the bed a little higher for your comfort.