• Stents


    For patients whose cardiovascular symptoms do not respond to lifestyle changes and medicines, the best treatment is often angioplasty and stents. An interventional cardiologist opens the artery by inflating a tiny balloon at the blockage and then inserts a small mesh tube called a stent. The stent keeps the artery open, improving blood flow to the heart, brain, kidney, other organs, and limbs.

  • Heart and Vascular Disease

    Blood clot formation (thrombosis)

    After either a bare metal or drug-eluting stent is implanted, there is a small chance that a blood clot may form on its surface. The chance of forming blood clots is low (it occurs in less than one in 200 patients). However, if blood clots form, the complications can be serious. They can result in recurrent chest pain or heart attack.

    Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

    Like most of us, you’ve probably had your share of aches and pains. Sometimes you can attribute them to a specific event—helping a friend move a heavy piece of furniture or pulling a muscle after bowling for the first time in years. Other times the pain comes on more gradually. You might think it’s just another sign that you’re getting older, As you age, especially if you have other health concerns, such as diabetes, it’s important to tell your doctor about all your aches and pains, especially if you have cramping, fatigue, heaviness, tightness, or weakness in the legs while walking, running, climbing stairs or engaging in other activities. These could be symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD)—a buildup of plaque and blockages in the arteries that restrict the flow of blood to your legs.
  • Treatment and Prevention

    Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Cardiac rehabilitation programs help participants resume a healthy lifestyle after a cardiac event and include monitored exercise, education and counseling about cardiac risk factors, and psychosocial support. Studies have shown that participants who complete cardiac rehab programs have better odds of a longer life than those who don’t complete a program.

    Heart Stents: Tools for Treating Blocked Blood Vessels

    If you hold a stent in the palm of your hand, it doesn’t look all that different from a spring in a retractable ink pen. At a glance, the apparent simplicity of a stent belies the decades of engineering and research studies that have contributed to its development. Without stents, angioplasty —a procedure to clear blocked arteries and stop a heart attack or improve heart disease symptoms—would not be the success story that it is today. Stents play a crucial, long-term role in enabling oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle.


    Angioplasty and stents are the standard of care to treat a heart attack in progress. Cardiologists also can recommend angioplasty and stents to treat symptoms of heart blockages, to reopen blocked carotid arteries that can cause a stroke, and to expand narrowed arteries that supply the arms and legs with blood.

    What's New

    Watch as SCAI President Dr. Ted A. Bass discusses how stents are used in the care of patients with heart disease.
  • Betty - Achieving a High Quality of Life at Any Age

    Betty didn’t realize the full extent of her heart disease symptoms, or how they were impacting her life, until after she was treated. Like many people with stable angina, she had curtailed her participation in activities she loved – like gardening and golfing – in order to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms that plagued her when she did them. To learn what led her to treatment, and how much she’s enjoying life now, read her story.

    Claire Kurz - Born With Congenital Heart Conditions and a Fighting Spirit

    Although Claire was born with life-threatening complex congenital heart disease, she was blessed with an incredible fighting spirit, a loving family, and dedicated team of healthcare providers who saved her life with surgery and interventions. Read Claire’s story of survival and how her parents are working to spread awareness about the prevalence of congenital heart defects.

    Duane Nystedt - Unique Heart Procedure Restores Patient’s Quality of Life

    A little over a year ago, Duane Nystedt was barely able to walk or perform easy, everyday tasks like taking out the garbage. Duane was suffering from a blocked heart artery. The blockage was inaccessible, leaving Duane with almost no options. He sought at Dr. William Lombardi, one of a few physicians in the country who performs a complicated procedure that has been shown to be successful in opening totally blocked blood vessels. Read about Duane’s procedure and how his life has changed.

    Ed Gartner – The right treatment option for an active lifestyle

    Ed Gartner built his life around living a healthy and active lifestyle. As a community recreational director, tennis instructor, and competitive tennis player, a heart condition was the last thing he thought would keep him out of the game. But that’s exactly what happened, as chest discomfort began bothering him whenever he exerted himself. Read more about the treatment that returned Ed to the lifestyle he loves – so well that he even beat his own cardiologist in two sets of tennis!

    Eugene Davis – Treating Total Blockage Brings Back Joy of Retirement

    Living with heart disease didn’t seem to limit 67-year-old Eugene Davis’ opportunities to enjoy retirement. He had undergone bypass surgery in 1995 and had successfully treated the high blood pressure, shortness of breath and fatigue that sent him to surgery 20 years ago. But in 2008, things changed and he found himself struggling with even simple household chores. When medications failed to help, he and his doctor’s tried another option. Read Eugene’s story to learn how heart disease can progress and how it can be successfully managed.