What Does a Heart Stent Do (And Not Do)?

You may have heard of a heart stent – many people that are walking around with one, and you probably know a few of them yourself. Many people with heart conditions that suffer from a blockage in a heart artery will be offered a stent, a small metal tube that helps to support narrow or weak arteries. The procedure, known as a percutaneous coronary intervention, is fairly simple – the stent inserted through a small hole placed in the groin area, and can typically show very quick results. Stents offer a very high success rate and can help a patient’s arteries function as normal and heal.
On the other hand, anyone that does receive a stent should not view it lightly. The cause of the blockage still needs to be addressed so that the patient is free from issues. Stents can help bloodflows in particularly weak arteries, but do not entirely prevent blood clots. It is important to look at the big picture and also make improvements in diet, exercise and overall lifestyle.
A stent is indeed a push-button solution for many heart problems, but it’s equally as important to look at the root of the problem for preventative measures. Coronary artery disease can affect all of the heart arteries while weakening the heart vessel walls. If these walls rupture the person will suffer a heart attack. Putting in a stent can resolve one problem, but does not address the risk of future problems developing.
Medications and lifestyle improvements help with blood flow and allow the heart to pump more effectively. It is important to make these changes once the stent has been placed. It is also vital to encourage family members to learn CPR in case of a coronary emergency. With a stent, a healthy lifestyle and people surrounding an individual that have been trained in CPR, there is a much better prognosis for the patient.
Heart2Heart provides first aid and CPR courses, providing Red Cross level training for a variety of situations. To find out more about our CPR courses at Heart2Heart, please visit our website at heart2heartcpr.com or contact us today!