We also perform carotid artery stenting in our cardiac catheterization laboratory, and are the first facility in the San Gabriel Valley to utilize this procedure. The technique uses a wire mesh tube (a stent) to prop open the carotid artery that has recently been cleared using angioplasty. The stent is collapsed to a small diameter, placed over an angioplasty balloon catheter and moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands, locks in place and forms a scaffold to hold the artery open. Carotid stenting has proven effective in reducing the occurrence of stroke and transient ischemic attacks (or TIAs).
Physicians at Methodist Hospital use the stenting procedure to open blocked arteries throughout the body. In addition to the carotid and vertebral arteries that lead to the brain, stents are used in the femoral and iliac arteries (in the legs), the mesenteric artery (leading to the intestines), renal arteries (leading to the kidneys), and subclavian arteries (leading to the arms). These procedures relieve many symptoms that previously required more complex and invasive solutions, resulting in shorter hospital stays, less expense and more comfortable recovery times.