Coronary Stent



Coronary stenting is a way to open a blocked artery in the heart. During an angioplasty , a mesh, metal tube is placed in the artery. The tube is called a stent.

There are 2 types:

  • Drug eluting—Coated with a medicine that is slowly released. The medicine lowers the chances of another block in the same place.
  • Bare metal—Has no medicine.
Coronary Artery: Stent Procedure
nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review possible problems such as:

  • Bleeding where the catheter goes in
  • Damage to the artery wall
  • Heart attack or abnormal heart beats known as arrhythmias
  • Reaction to the x-ray dye
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Stroke

Sometimes the stent isn’t enough or the artery narrows again. This may result in another procedure.

Your chances for problems are higher for:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Bleeding problems
  • Older age
  • Recent pneumonia
  • Recent heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

Call for Medical Help Right Away If Any of the Following Occur

Call for emergency medical services right away for:

  • Drooping facial muscles
  • Changes in vision or speech
  • Difficulty walking or using your arms
  • Change in sensation to affected leg or arm, including numbness, feeling cold, or change in color
  • Extreme sweating, nausea or vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Coughing or breathing problems
  • Weakness or fainting

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


American Heart Association 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 


Canadian Cardiovascular Society 

Heart and Stroke Foundation 


Revascularization for coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  . Updated June 2, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018.

Stenting during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:  . Updated June 21, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018.

Stents. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated December 17, 2013. Accessed July 3, 2018.

11/7/2007 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  : Bravata DM, Gienger AL, McDonald KM, et al. Systematic review: the comparative effectiveness of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(10):703-716.