Assessment Of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
When Is A Stent Recommended For A Patient With Heart Disease?
Coronary artery disease is a disease that develops when the major blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits or plaque accumulation in the coronary arteries are usually the major cause of this disease, followed by inflammation. When plaque build-up or inflammation narrows the coronary arteries, it makes it difficult for them to supply blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart, which results in chest pain, shortness of breath, and even heart attack.
CAD Assessment is an assessment or test that help doctors gather information about the patient to make an informant decision on planning treatments for them. The assessment may include questions such as age, height, weight, medical history, family medical history, habits, lifestyle choices, etc. Answering these questions honestly is extremely crucial because this will determine how your treatment will be carried further.
What Is A Cardiac Stent?
CAD can damage the muscles of your heart and increase the risks of a heart attack. A cardiac stent is an expandable coil made of metal mesh used to treat the narrowed or blocked arteries that lead to CAD. It is inserted into the affected coronary arteries during an angioplasty which is a non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure. A stent is designed to support the artery walls, keep the artery open, and improve blood flow to the heart.
How Is A Cardiac Stent Inserted?
To insert a cardiac stent, a small incision is made in the patient’s groin, arm or neck. Then a catheter with the stent and a balloon on the tip is inserted to the incision. Special dyes and monitors are used to guide the catheter through the blood vessels to the narrowed or blocked artery, allowing increased blood flow to the heart. Finally, the balloon is deflated, the catheter is removed and the stent is left behind to prevent further blockage.
During this procedure, a filter prevents the plaque and blood clots from coming loose and entering the bloodstream. After the procedure, the patient must take medications to help prevent clotting with the stent. With time, the arteries will begin to heal and the tissues will merge with the stent meat, adding strength to the artery.
Benefits Of Cardiac Stenting
Stenting can prove to be beneficial for patients with CAD, especially when performed right after a heart attack. It can improve the blood flow to the heart and prevent further damage to the heart muscle. It can also relieve symptoms of heart diseases such as angina, shortness of breath, etc.
In a few cases, it also eliminates the need for bypass surgery. Since stenting is much less invasive than bypass surgery, the recovery time is a lot shorter, which means the patient has to spend less time in the hospital and can get back to their daily routine quicker.
When Is Stenting Recommended For A Patient With Heart Disease?
Whether or not a patient can undergo stenting depends on various factors. However, the major factor remains the number of arteries that are blocked. Generally, angioplasty with stenting is recommended to patients who have no more than two blocked arteries. For those with more than two blocked arteries, bypass surgery is considered a better option.
Dr Rajeev Garg
Senior Consultant-Interventional Cardiologist
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.