March 3, 2022 1:42 pm
Get the Facts: How Long Does a Cardiac Stent Last?
If you or a loved one has undergone an angioplasty, a surgeon may have placed a cardiac stent to help restore blood flow. Is that stent designed to stick around for the remainder of your life, or will it eventually need to be replaced?
The short answer is that stents are intended to be permanent. Once a cardiac stent is in place, it’s designed to prop open the artery to keep it from closing back up.
Why Would You Need a Cardiac Stent?
Blood flows efficiently to the heart and into other areas of the body when the heart’s arteries work properly. But for many Americans, the normal function of these arteries becomes impaired over time.
Due to several factors, including a diet high in saturated fat and a sedentary lifestyle, a substance known as plaque builds up on the artery walls. At first, this may make it harder for blood to flow through. But eventually, plaque can cause the arteries to narrow dangerously, seriously disrupting the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart.
Plaque buildup is sometimes discovered during an imaging scan to diagnose a heart health issue, but it’s most often found when a person has a heart attack. In either case, treatment involves a procedure known as angioplasty.
How Is a Cardiac Stent Placed?
During angioplasty, a surgeon inserts a small balloon-tipped catheter into a blood vessel. The catheter is carefully navigated to the blocked artery using real-time images of the heart and its arteries. Once the catheter is inside the blocked artery, the balloon is inflated. The balloon pushes the plaque against the artery walls, restoring normal blood flow.
A cardiac stent may also be placed during the procedure. The stent, a small mesh tube, stays in the artery to keep it propped open. Cardiac stents are intended to be permanent, remaining in place to ensure the artery stays open.
In some cases, a cardiac stent may be coated with medication to prevent the formation of blood clots. After angioplasty and stenting, you’ll also receive treatment to limit plaque buildup in the future.
Can I Have More Than One Cardiac Stent?
If you have atherosclerosis, the condition responsible for plaque buildup in your arteries, you may eventually experience multiple blocked arteries.
While you can technically have multiple angioplasty procedures and cardiac stents placed, your medical team may recommend a different treatment option if it’s clear you have several blockages.
A team of cardiovascular experts at Magnolia Regional Health Center will determine an individualized treatment plan for you. They’ll consider several factors, including your overall health, your heart health and the severity of plaque buildup.
When your heart’s at stake, you want a medical team you can count on. The Magnolia Heart & Vascular Center offers the comprehensive services you need, close to home.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center