Renal Artery Stenting

Renal artery stenting is a medical procedure used to treat a partially or completely blocked renal artery, which is an artery in the kidneys. Our interventional cardiologists perform renal artery stents in our state-of-the-art catheterization laboratories.

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Reasons for a Renal Artery Stent

Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is a blockage of an artery to the kidneys. A renal stent may be necessary if your cardiologist confirms that a significant blockage is present in one or both of your renal arteries. The procedure is usually done to protect the kidney from further damage due to loss of blood supply.
 
Renal artery stenosis can cause kidney failure and hypertension (high blood pressure). If you are a smoker you have a greater risk of developing RAS. High cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, and having a family history of cardiovascular disease are also risk factors for RAS.

How to Prepare for a Renal Artery Stent

Your cardiologists will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
  • You will need to fast prior to the procedure. Your doctor will notify you how long to fast, usually overnight.
  • Notify your doctor of all medications (prescription, over-the-counter or herbal supplements) you are taking; if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant; if you are allergic to or sensitive to medications, local anesthesia, latex or if you are allergic to or sensitive to contrast dye or iodine.
  • Your doctor may request a blood test to determine how long it takes your blood to clot.

What to Expect

You will be positioned on the table, lying on your back, and under local anesthesia  a small incision will be made in your groin. Your doctor will insert a thin catheter into the renal artery. Once it reaches the area of blockage, the catheter will inflate a tiny balloon to widen the artery. The stent will be inserted to keep the artery from narrowing again. After your doctor removes the catheter and sutures the incision, you will be monitored for several hours.
 
Following a renal artery stenting, you will need to avoid strenuous physical activity for at least 24 hours and consume plenty of fluids to flush out the contrast dye. Lie down often, particularly if bleeding occurs around the incision. If you notice any bleeding, pain, or a feeling of warmth in the area, as well as any changes in the color of the skin of the leg, you should contact your doctor immediately.

What are the risks?

There are a number of risks associated with renal stents including:
  • Blood clots
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney damage
  • Artery damage