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Heart Disorders Message Board


Heart Disorders Board Index


There has been a lot of controversy about which stents are better especially after these most recent reports. I, for one, questioned the wisdom of having had the drug-eluting stent (February 2006 following 2nd MI) or even any kind of stent since I already lived for almost 20 years in perfect health after a 1986 balloon angioplasty following my first MI (no stents back then). My only medication for that period of time was a baby aspirin and I exercised and watched what I ate but eventually after 20 years the LAD reclosed and I suffered my 2nd MI in February of this year. They bypassed the LAD (MIDCAB or mini-bypass) and placed 2 Taxus stents in the RAC (95% closed with large collaterals) for which I am taking the plavix and aspirin.

There is nothing we can do about it now since these stents cannot be removed but you have to keep in mind that there is a risk of late stent thrombosis (however very small) in the medicated stents as well as the bare metal stents. The reason you hear a lot about the medicated stents is because there are far more of these stents implanted than bare metal stents and thus a higher number of cases are reported. Another reason is that most high-risk patients, diabetics etc, receive the medicated stent and not the bare-metal stent and these patients tend to have more complications. Another issue is that in many of these adverse events the patients stopped taking their plavix and even aspirin early.

Here is an excerpt from an article about this issue that might put things in perspective and not panic about it since the worry itself can be bad for you.

"Angioplasty and stents have been extremely successful in opening clogged arteries and improving the lives of patients. Over six million drug-eluting stents have been implanted and it is only over very widespread use that these rare complications emerge: a variety of studies worldwide have reported complications anywhere from 0-3%; most researchers are currently saying that the chance of late stent thrombosis is around 0.6% -- less than 1 in 100."





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