I don't know who told you that a stent lasts approx 15 years. I have never heard of this and it is basically believed it will last the natural life of the patient. The key is to control two problems associated with stents. 1) restenosis. This is where scar tissue forms over the inside of the stent, causing a blockage. With the newer Drug eluting stents this risk has dramatically been reduced. 2) clotting. This is a problem with both bare metal stents and drug eluting stents. Plavix is a medication (usually given with aspirin), which helps inhibit platelet activity, hence reducing the clotting problem.
I had a stent put into my Obtuse Marginal (OM1) three years ago, and an angiogram has shown there is no blockage of any kind forming. Although the rest of the vessel has no disease, the stented section is actually wider than the rest.
Stents CAN be removed but after usually much closer to the time of insertion. You have to remember that a Stent is a mesh tube and normal tissue grows through the mesh to form a new lining to the artery. This will basically make the stent a part of the artery, burying it in the artery and this would be virtually impossible to remove without destroying the vessel. However, there is no reason why a second stent couldn't be placed inside the first one.
Everything that you posted I agree with. My dad's doctor told us the very same thing about his grafts. And to add to what you said about a second stent inside the first stent is exactly what they did to the stent I have in my RCA. The first was beginnng to become blocked so they virtually put a stent inside a stent. Take care! Ally
Last September I had a stent placed inside a drug eluting stent that had been placed 8 yrs earlier. There was no significant increase in plaque build up but it had become blocked with scar tissue and a clot. The team at Mayo Clinic
in Rochester, MN was able to poke through the scar tissue and open it up to 80% so they could place another stent inside but what happens when that one has the same problem in another 8 yrs? I can't keep putting stents inside of stents for ever. This seems too much like a way to insure repeat business and basically signs a long term death warrant for the patient. What about the roto rooter option? I would think it would be able also clean out the scar tissue without injuring the artery wall..
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