Blood is carried through the body by blood vessels called veins and arteries. If a blood vessel becomes blocked by plaque—a deposit made from fat, cholesterol and other substances—the blockage can restrict blood flow and lead to various health problems. In these cases, your doctor may use a stent to help treat your condition.
Our expert surgical team offers state-of-the-art vascular stent procedures. We are the only medical center in New Hampshire to place carotid artery stents.
What is a vascular stent?
A stent is a tiny tube placed inside a blocked blood vessel to keep it open. The stent restores blood flow through the vessel. Stents are usually made of metal or plastic. Stent grafts are larger stents used for larger arteries and may be made of a special fabric. Stents can also be coated with medication to help keep a blocked artery from closing. Stents can be placed in many areas of the body. Vascular stents are commonly placed as part of peripheral artery angioplasty. Common sites we treat with stents include:
- Carotid arteries: Large arteries on either side of the neck that supply blood to the brain
- Femoral arteries: Large arteries in the thigh that supply blood to the leg
- Iliac arteries: Large arteries in the pelvis
What to expect
To insert the stent, your surgeon will make a small cut (usually in the groin or arm) and use a small, flexible tube called a catheter to guide specialized tools through your blood vessels to reach the area that needs a stent. The stent is placed inside the broken or blocked blood vessel to restore normal blood flow. During the procedure, you will receive either general anesthesia to put you to sleep or local anesthesia to numb the area of the body where the surgeon will work.
Recovery after a vascular stent procedure
Some patients stay overnight in the hospital, though some can go home the same day as your procedure. Your experience and recovery time will depend on your condition and the type of procedure you have.