Stent Placement

Stent placement procedure roomA stent—sometimes called an endoprosthesis—is a small, flexible tube made of medical-grade plastic or wire mesh that is implanted in the body to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Stents are most commonly used to hold open blocked blood vessels after an angioplasty. They can be placed in the carotid artery to compress the plaque against the vessel walls and open the artery to prevent stroke. Stents are also used to hold open bile ducts (biliary stenting) in the pancreas or liver when an obstruction prevents bile from draining into the digestive tract, in the esophagus to treat blockages or narrowings that make it difficult to swallow, and in the airways of the lungs to treat obstructions that interfere with normal breathing.

In some cases, stents are used to treat patients with severe liver disease. These patients often experience life-threatening bleeding because their livers are too damaged to handle the normal flow of blood.

How It Works
The interventional radiologist uses X-ray guidance to thread a catheter and stent to the treatment area. This minimally invasive procedure is generally less traumatic for patients than surgical implantation because it involves smaller incisions, less pain and shorter recovery time.

What to Expect
Prior to appointments, Gwinnett Medical Center patients are asked to come in for routine lab work. It is preferred that patients have their lab work performed at Gwinnett Medical Center so the radiology nurses have access to the results. Our radiology nurses call each patient shortly after the procedure is scheduled to obtain a health history and provide instructions.

For most interventional radiology exams, patients need to arrive in admissions two hours before their scheduled procedure time on the day of the exam. Patients will check in at admissions before being taken to the Imaging Nursing Unit, where an interventional radiologist will come to talk with the patient before the procedure. The patient will then be prepped for the exam and taken to the Interventional Radiology Suite for the procedure. Following the procedure, the patient will return to the Imaging Nursing Unit for recovery. The recovery time varies based on the procedure. After the patient is then discharged, he or she will receive a follow-up call the next day.

Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Lawrenceville, Duluth or Hamilton Mill.