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Drug-eluting Stents

Stents are small mesh tubes inserted to keep arteries open after a procedure called angioplasty. Drug-eluting stents are special because they have a polymer coating that releases medication directly into your artery continuously over time. That medication helps prevent scar tissue from forming within the stent and narrowing your blood vessel again. In general, drug-eluting stents are preferred over bare-metal stents for this added benefit.

By preventing plaque buildup in your arteries, helping blood flow, and relieving chest pain, they may also lower your chances of having a heart attack. Drug-eluting stents, however, require longer treatment with blood thinners to prevent the stents from closing because of blood clotting. This makes them less desirable if you have bleeding problems or might need surgery within a year.

The procedure to insert a stent is much less invasive than coronary bypass surgery. Coronary bypass surgery is usually recommended for people who have more than two narrowed arteries. Most people recover within a few days of having a stent inserted. In contrast, it may take you six weeks or more to recover from coronary bypass surgery.

As you recover, your artery will begin to heal around the stent. This will give it added strength.

Why choose Presbyterian for your drug-eluting stents?

Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care has a skilled vascular care team who can provide a wide range of services from diagnosis to treatment. Their surgeons are trained in many different techniques and procedures, many of which can provide you with a shorter recovery period and less hospital time.

Who is eligible for a drug-eluting stents?

Drug-eluting stents help people who have heart diseases like coronary artery disease. They also reduce the need for angioplasty, which is a procedure that can raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What conditions can be treated with a drug-eluting stents?

A drug-eluting stent is used to treat coronary artery disease. It is coated with time-release medicine that will prevent an artery from becoming blocked again.

How do I prepare for a drug-eluting stents?

  • Tell your doctor about any drugs, herbs, or supplements that you take.

  • Don’t take any drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot.

  • Don’t drink water or any other fluids the night before your surgery.

What should I expect during my drug-eluting stent procedure?

This procedure may take 30 minutes to several hours to complete. You’ll receive numbing medicine at the site of the incision. You’ll also get intravenous (IV) medication to help you relax.

Your surgeon will make a small incision in your groin or arm. They will insert a small catheter with a deflated balloon and stent on its tip into the incision.

They will guide the catheter through your body and into your narrowed coronary artery. They will inflate the balloon. As it inflates, the balloon will expand the stent to hold your artery open. Your surgeon will remove the balloon and catheter, leaving the stent behind.

How do I care for myself after my drug-eluting stents?

Your doctor may recommend that you take aspirin daily and indefinitely to reduce the risk of your blood clotting. Or you may be given stronger prescription anti-clotting medications to reduce the risk of stent clotting for at least one year after the stent is inserted.

Let your primary care doctor and other specialists you see know what medications you take and that you have a stent. Anti-clotting medications and aspirin can affect surgeries and other medical procedures and may interact with other medications.