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Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Frequently Asked Questions

​What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?

See Signs and Symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your family Physician.

What is a stent?

A stent is an expandable stainless steel mesh tube that is placed in your heart artery to hold it open. It looks like the spring in a pen.

​1. An artery with plaque.
Artery with plaque
​2. Balloon expanded into the artery.
Balloon expanded into artery
3. Stent on balloon inserted into the artery.
Stent on balloon
​4. Stent supporting the opened artery.
Stent supporting artery

Who gets a stent?

Stent - Before and AfterYour cardiologist will determine if the narrowings or blockages in your heart arteries would benefit from the placement of a stent.

What is an angioplasty?

This is the opening of a narrowed artery with a tiny balloon mounted on a hollow tube. The balloon is inflated and pushes the “cholesterol” up against the wall of the artery to enable blood to flow again. 

What is a drug-eluting stent (DES)?

DES StentThis is a special stent coated with a drug used to reduce the chance of the artery narrowing down again. Not everyone who receives a stent will get a DES, as it is assessed by a cardiologist, and specific criteria must be met in order to make sure this is the right stent for your condition.

How do you get the tube to the heart?

The physician will freeze the groin area over the artery with local anaesthetic, and use a small needle to access the artery. Under x-ray guidance, a small tube is directed from the access site up to the arteries of the heart. The arteries of the body are like the branches of a tree; you can access the heart from one of the larger branches.

How long will I have to wait for my procedure?

Wait times vary based upon an assessment by your family doctor, a cardiologist and our nurse clinician. If your condition changes, such as more chest pain or shortness of breath, contact your family physician, or visit your local Emergency department.

Last Modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 |
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