Think Five Think Life

Think Stent. Ask Five.

If your doctor has recommended an angioplasty, ask these five questions that could make a big difference to your heart and life.

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What is a stent? Is my stent medicated?

Bare Metal Stent vs. Drug-Eluting Stent

A stent is a tiny, metallic, expandable mesh like tube that supports the artery and helps to keep it open. In an un-deployed state stents are mounted on a balloon catheter which is the delivery system to track the stent to the blocked area of the coronary artery. The balloon is inflated to expand the stent. As the stent expands, it helps flatten the plaque against the artery wall, increasing blood flow. Once the stent is properly expanded, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed from your body. The stent stays in your artery permanently to help keep it open to maintain blood flow.

In people with coronary artery disease (CAD) caused by the buildup of plaque, stents can:

  • Open narrowed arteries
  • Reduce symptoms, like chest pain
  • Help treat a heart attack

These types are called heart stents, but they're also referred to as cardiac stents or coronary stents. Usually made of metal mesh, they’re put into arteries in a procedure called a percutaneous coronary intervention or, its more common name, angioplasty

First-generation stents were made of bare metal (Non Medicated). Although they almost eliminated the risk of the artery collapsing, they only modestly reduced the risk of re-narrowing also termed as Restenosis. Restenosis is the re-narrowing of the artery due to the overgrowth of tissue within the stent during the healing process. About a quarter of all coronary arteries treated with bare-metal stents would close up again, usually in about 6 months.

To help prevent restenosis from occurring, scientists developed drug-eluting stents (DES). Drug-eluting stents reduce the risk of restenosis and reduce the potential need for future treatment. They provide the same support to the artery wall as uncoated stents, except they have a coating on the stent that includes a drug that is released over time. The drug helps limit the overgrowth of tissue within the stent as the artery heals, preventing re-narrowing

In clinical trials, these reduced re-narrowing cases to less than 10%. They also lowered the need for repeat procedures for people with diabetes, who have a bigger chance of their arteries getting narrow again. For more details you may contact your physician.

Is my stent certified by reputed regulatory bodies like U.S. FDA, CE, etc?

Is my stent clinically tested on patients?

Is my stent approved for use in Diabetic patients?

Is my stent safe and effective in the long term?

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician.