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Pulmonary stents

What are pulmonary stents?

Pulmonary stents are small flexible tubes made of a wire mesh material. They are used to open pulmonary arteries that are too
small. They are permanent.

The cardiologist will put in the stents during the heart catheterization or surgery.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Your child will have a bandage or a large pressure bandage on one or both groin areas and will need to lie flat and rest in bed for at least 3 hours. An IV will give fluids and antibiotics. Blood tests will be done.

Your child may have some mild chest pain for a while after the procedure because of the dilating (widening) of the pulmonary arteries. Medicines will be given as needed for pain.

The nurse will check the vital signs (pulse, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure) and the pulses in the feet and legs often. Ask your doctor when your child can return to normal activities.

How can I care for my child?

Follow the cardiologist's instructions about the bandage, care of the groin site, and bathing.

It is very common to have a bruise and some tenderness in the groin. This will fade in a few days.

It is common for your child's temperature to be one degree higher than normal during the first day or two after the procedure.

Twice a day on the day of the procedure and for 2 days after, check the following:

  • your child's temperature
  • the catheter site for bleeding, swelling, drainage, or redness
  • whether both legs are the same color, temperature, and size

Keep the site clean and dry while a scab is forming and the area is healing.

For pain or discomfort, give acetaminophen (Tylenol® or another brand) or other medicine as prescribed by your doctor.

Your child may need to take aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin®). You will get prescriptions for the medicines and instructions before your child goes home. Do not give your child more aspirin, or aspirin products, unless prescribed by the doctor.

The cardiologist will tell you when your child needs to come back to the clinic for more tests and checkups.

How active can my child be?

Your child should avoid contact sports and rough play (such as riding bikes and other riding toys, physical education classes, swinging, and jumping) for the first few days after the procedure. The cardiologist will give you more specific activity instructions.

When should I call the doctor?

Call the cardiology clinic if:

  • any bleeding at the site. Call after applying pressure.
  • the leg in which the catheter was inserted is cooler than the other leg or has a bluish color.
  • a bruise occurs at the site, especially if tender.
  • your child is less active than usual.
  • temperature stays 1 degree higher than normal for more than two days.
  • fever higher than 101° F by mouth or 102° F rectally during the week after the procedure.
  • signs of infection at the site:
    • redness
    • swelling
    • warmth
    • increasing pain
    • pus

Questions?

This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the cardiology clinic.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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