Stenting is a minimally invasive procedure used to implant a stent into a clogged artery. Coronary stents designed for the heart have been used since the mid-1980s. Neurovascular stents, which are designed for arteries located in your brain, have a shorter history but have become increasingly common over the last few decades. Stents are usually made of a type of metal, such as nitinol, cobalt chromium, platinum tungsten, etc.
Goal of Stenting
One goal of stenting is to open a blocked artery to improve blood flow. Surgeons use stents in arteries throughout the body, including the heart. Neurosurgeons who implant stents, however, receive specialized training that prepares them for inserting the stent in one of the brain’s arteries. This opens the artery and allows blood to flow to all parts of the brain. Another goal of stenting is to use it as a kind of scaffold to keep coils in an aneurysm. Yet another is to remodel a diseased artery.
In addition to improving the flow of blood, neurovascular stenting has many uses and can prevent serious health problems such as strokes and aneurysms.
How Stenting Is Performed
Stenting is a minimally invasive procedure that usually only requires a small incision on the upper thigh. Once your neurosurgeon makes the incision, he or she will insert a catheter into your artery. This makes it possible for the neurosurgeon to wind the catheter carefully through your artery until it reaches the problem area in your brain.
Implanting the stent is fairly simple once your doctor reaches the problem area. The stent expands slightly to create an adequate tunnel through your artery. When the procedure goes as planned, the stent will prevent the artery from getting clogged or collapsing for several years. A stent does not, however, guarantee that the artery will never affect your health again.
Since most surgeons prefer using general anesthesia while implanting stents, you will not experience any pain during the procedure. There are some cases when doctors use local anesthesia, such as for carotid stents, but it’s typically safer for you, the patient, to remain immobile while inserting a stent in your brain.
Recovery Timeline for Stenting
After your surgeon implants a stent in your clogged artery, you can expect to stay in the hospital for one to three days as you recover from the procedure. During this time, nurses will keep your incision site clean and bandaged. Assuming that your incision heals properly, you can expect to go home within two days.
You should avoid strenuous tasks for at least one weeks after going home from the hospital. Following this advice will help the incision site heal completely. If you notice that the area isn’t healing, you should contact your doctor.
Nearly all patients fully recover from stenting within a month of their surgeries. Still, you may need to make some lifestyle changes to prevent other neurovascular problems in the future. A sedentary lifestyle, smoking and eating high-fat foods could lead to another health crisis. If you don’t feel that you can make these changes on your own, you may need to get help from a counselor, nutritionist or other qualified professional. Even small changes can make a big difference in your health.
It’s also possible that your doctor will prescribe medications to lower the risk of future neurovascular problems. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to make sure you get the full benefit of these medications.
Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?
All surgeries come with some level of risk, so it’s important for you to choose a doctor with plenty of experience. At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, you won’t find any doctors who perform general surgeries. Everyone at the practice is a specialist in their particular field of study.
Neurosurgeons of New Jersey is also a convenient option for most people in the state. The practice has five locations in New Jersey and one in New York City, making it easier for you to receive the care you deserve without traveling too far.