I have had five attacks in three years with 7 stent placements. My problem is scar tissue formation that blocks the stents. Is there any way to prevent internal scar tissue buildup?
(My cholesterol, etc. is not a problem. I exercise 4 days a week and walk an hour a day.)
Taking Plavix indicates you have drug eluding stents. The a drug-eluting stents (DES) basically have a special drug that delivers the agent right at the site of the injury to the artery and prevents much of the scar tissue from recurring.
Compared to the alternative bare metal stent and it is known that the likelihood of the arteries re-narrowing after drug-eluting stents are much less than after bare metal stents. But the drugs for DES are very potent compounds, and sometimes they cause the artery to heal to a minimal degree. And occasionally blood clots can form on drug-coated stents. So in addition aspirin (inhibits platelets) there is Plavix that reduces the risk of blood clots, and the usual therapy is to take Plavix for a year (after a year less risk for clots) and aspirin therapy is continued indifinitely to inhibit platelet formation.
To prevent this, patients have to take two different anti-platelet agents. So, aspirin inhibits platelets, it's a fairly mild drug, and there's another drug we use routinely called Plavixl. With bare metal stents you take both medication for 30 days; with DES drug-eluting stents, you take both for one year and sometimes longer.
I had a DES implant about 7 years ago, and I was on Plavix for a year but continue with aspirin. Both Plavix and aspirin are anti-platelet medication but have different mechanisms that act to prevent restenosis. A successul implant will have a thin scar indicating the lesion healed well and Plavix is now not considered an option for clot prevention. There a few doctors that continue Plavix indefinitely for some reason.. you may want to ask your doctor about the duration...to take medication without a good reason would not be of any benefit, but another poison to pollute the body's chemical system.
Thanks for sharing and if you have any further questions or comments, you are welcome to respond. Take care,
There is obviously a huge difference between clotting and Scarring.
Drug Eluting Stents have not given the results desired in reality. Yes a large number of people seem to do well, but not as many as hoped. In the UK they are trying a new approach with good results. If you picture a tiny mesh tube (stent), there are a lot of gaps between the mesh. All this area (around 80%) is open space and so nothing touches the artery lining when expanded into place, meaning the chemicals on the stent only touch 20% of the artery surface. This means of course 80% of the artery under the stent is prone to scarring.
What has been used for a while now in the UK is a Drug Eluting Balloon, which is first expanded in the artery, squeezing the drug onto 100% of the artery surface. Then the Drug Eluting Stent is expanded in place. The two Stents I received in March were employed using this newer method.
You are so right. My problem has not been clotting but actual scar tissue build up. I was given the drug eluting balloon in April of this year, unfortuantely I had to have it replaced with another drug eluding stent in June.
I lost a kidney to cancer in May and have only 35% function in the remaining kidney. Because of the damage that contrast dyes have already caused I need to avoid them. Per my cardiologist a by-pass is out of the question for the same reason. My only hope is to try to come up with a way to avoid the scar tissue buildup that causes the heart problems.
I think your only hope is a very very healthy diet. I believe that nature has a lot to offer if we balance our foods, and although many people say they eat healthily, you have to ask are they really. We have no idea what goes into a lot of our foods, we have no idea when chemicals go into livestock. I will never forget watching a small trial on television a couple of years ago, where a group of people with all kinds of cardiovascular problems were put into an empty gorilla enclosure in a zoo for a few days. Every day, bloods were taken, and stool/urine samples from each participant. Blood pressure was also taken. The participants were only allowed to eat washed fruit and uncooked vegetables with some nuts. At the end of the trial, every participant had normal blood pressure. Those who had low pressure, saw it rise, those with high saw it lower. All cholesterol levels dropped to good levels and they all felt so much healthier. When the trial was over, they were all offered a piece of fruit, or they could have had a hotdog, burger or a bacon sandwich. None wanted those foods, they had all got used to the new diet and enjoyed the feeling of the benefits. There were even two participants who hated vegetables at the beginning but grew to like them.
I think food is far more important than we realise and I don't think we take it nearly as seriously as we should do. Perhaps this is a move you could make and let nature sort out your problems as intended.
I didn't think the drug eluting balloon was FDA approved yet?
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