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Re: Stents

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - MTR on September 01, 1998 at 15:50:46:

In Reply to: Stents posted by donna sorenson on August 31, 1998 at 15:47:56:

my husband just had three stents put in his heart arteries.  What should be our concerns during the next few months.  


Dear Donna, thank you for your question.  Coronary stents have revolutionized angioplasty by dramatically reducing the acute complications of the procedure and improving the long-term results.  Stents are metallic, scaffolding-like devices that are deployed in the coronary arteries after angioplasty by inflating the stent with a balloon to oppose its struts against the vessel wall.  After a stent is placed, anti-platelet therapy consists of aspirin indefinitely and plavix or ticlid for 2-3 weeks.  Anti-platelet therapy is used to prevent thrombosis of the stent in the immediate post-angioplasty period.  Within one month, the stent is coated with endothelial cells of the blood vessels and thrombosis doesn't occur.  However, scar tissue can accumulate within the stent over the first 1-6 months after placement.  The process of scar tissue formation is called restenosis and occurs in 20-25% of the cases after stent placement.  We are unable to accurately predict who will develop restenosis.  While we're trying to develop therapies to prevent restenosis, the scar tissue can be treated with additional angioplasty procedures.  Thus, your husband should closely monitor his symptoms and he should alert his cardiologist if his angina recurs.  Otherwise, he should avoid tobacco, eat a low fat diet, exercise daily, and take all of his medications as prescribed.   These interventions will help to improve his long-term cardiovascular health.
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  

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