A stent is used when the doctor decides that using a balloon is not enough to keep the coronary artery from renarrowing. The stent is a small metal-mesh tube that is implanted in the area of the coronary artery opened by the balloon to help keep it from narrowing again. Some stents are designed to deliver medication to the artery to help keep it open. After the angioplasty procedure, the balloon is removed from the artery. The stent, on the other hand, remains in the coronary artery to help keep it open.
A doctor will give a complete medical exam and provide detailed instructions. At the hospital a series of routine tests, such as an X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG) or blood tests will be performed to determine any heart problems.
DES prevents a coronary artery from narrowing again after angioplasty. Stents are small, expandable, mesh-like tubes that are inserted during an angioplasty procedure into a blocked section of the coronary artery to open it and improve blood flow. DES are coated with medicine that prevents scar tissue from growing in the artery (restenosis).
Stent thrombosis is a rare condition that occurs when a blood clot forms on the surface of a stent, increasing the risk of blood flow in an artery being reduced or cut off. However, if blood clots form, the complications can be serious, resulting in recurrent chest pain or even a heart attack.
While DES have been used successfully in millions of patients, evidence suggests that the body sometimes reacts to the stent with local inflammation that increases the risks of delayed healing and the formation of blood clots, a process known as stent thrombosis. This can lead to serious events such as myocardial infarction (heart attack).
DES have been associated with delayed arterial healing suggesting that patients may continue to be at risk for stent thrombosis.
Dual Therapy Stent (DTS) is the latest type of coronary stent. It is a first-of-its-kind stent therapy which not only reduces the likelihood of the re-narrowing of the vessel or of having to undergo a repeat procedure, but also helps the healing process of the artery. It combines the benefits of DES and bio-engineered stents. It is the only stent to contain a drug with active healing technology, called EPC.