Cardiac stent: What are the potential side effects?

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A cardiac stent is utilized to deal with blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The blockages reduce the flow of blood to the heart muscle that can later result to a heart attack.

These stents are mesh tubes typically made of metal that are placed within the arteries of the heart to minimize narrowing as well as strengthen the arterial walls. Similar with other medical procedures, a cardiac stent can cause certain effects that you should be familiar with.

What are the effects of a cardiac stent?

Chest pain

Chest pain is a common issue after placement of a cardiac stent, usually within the initial 72 hours after the procedure. This discomfort can be triggered by stretching or spasms of the arterial walls where the stent was placed or it might indicate a serious heart attack.

Cardiac stent
Chest pain is a common issue after placement of a cardiac stent, usually within the initial 72 hours after the procedure.

After the placement of the cardiac stent, some individuals are given nitroglycerin tablets to be taken if chest pain occurs. It is vital to report any chest discomfort that occurs after placement of the stent.

Palpitations and disturbances in the heart rhythm

Palpitations are common after the placement of a stent. This can occur due to the improved flow of blood in the damaged parts of the heart. It might also indicate a serious heart rhythm disturbance that could be due to a heart attack.

Some individuals experienced brief abnormality with the heart rhythm within the initial 48 hours after the procedure. These palpitations can be readily determined by an electrocardiogram.

Major bleeding

Bleeding from the insertion site due to a tear in the artery can occur after the procedure. If severe bleeding occurs, it usually manifests in the initial 12-15 hours after placement. Indications of major bleeding include the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Even though uncommon, significant bleeding is a serious issue that can be dangerous if not treated.

Important considerations

The placement of a cardiac stent is a life-saving procedure. It is important to carefully follow the instructions given by the doctor to ensure a successful outcome. The prescribed medications particularly blood-thinning medications are used to reduce the risk for complications.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a cardiac stent is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to more about cardiac stents, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are located in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Victoria, Ottawa and Halifax.

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