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Risks of Angioplasty & Stenting

Talk with your doctor about the risks of angioplasty and stenting. Many risks can be managed. 

Talk with your doctor about the risks of angioplasty and stenting. Many risks can be managed. For example, your physician may implant a drug-eluting stent rather than a bare metal stent to help prevent scar tissue from forming that could block the artery again. And you can greatly reduce the risk of blood clots by taking medication exactly as prescribed by your doctors. Your level of risk also depends on your personal circumstances, but it can include –


an artery collapsing or closing again, especially when stenting is not an option

bleeding or damage to the blood vessel where the catheter is inserted or in the inner lining of the artery

an allergic reaction to the dye or to the stent

the procedure may need to be stopped and coronary bypass surgery (CABG) performed if the blockages are too numerous and severe to treat adequately with angioplasty and stenting

scar tissue can grow within a stent (restenosis), requiring a repeat procedure

a blood clot can form inside the stent (stent thrombosis), which may require immediate medical treatment

heart attack, stroke or death—the more arteries involved, the greater the risk

side effects from medication

► Coronary angioplasty can be used only if one or two arteries are affected. The procedure is not suitable if multiple blood vessels are affected or the artery is narrowed at multiple locations.

► It cannot be used in arteries that cannot be reached by the catheter.

► It may not be effective against very hard atherosclerotic plaques.

Heart attack. Though rare, you may have a heart attack during the procedure.

Coronary artery damage. Your coronary artery may be torn or ruptured (dissected) during the procedure. ...

Kidney problems. ...

Stroke. ...

Abnormal heart rhythms.


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