Bare-metal or drug-eluting stents lasts in the coronary artery for the life of the patient. After initially implanted, the stent is gradually incorporated (new tissue grows over and through the struts, drug-eluting somewhat delays this, hence possible blood clot problems) into the vessel wall, essentially becoming a permanent part of it.
The drug contained on a drug-eluting stent, which is gradually released, and the polymer coating that gradually releases it, only lasts for a limited period of time, as is designed to, is intended to do so.
Sometimes though, a problem can occur at the stented site, such as restenosis (renarrowing, in some cases, even with drug-eluting stents), or new or accelerated atherosclerotic plaque buildup, requiring another angioplasty and possible re-stenting or "stent sandwich" (placing a stent within a stent).
Stents are just a Band-aid or spot treatment, as this does not address the underlying disease process and what drives the progression.
Most important, coronary artery disease (CAD) is a lifelong unpredictable (can exhibit periods of stabilization, acceleration, and even some regression) condition, requiring a continuum of top notch care, as well as good doctor-patient/patient-doctor communication and understanding at ALL times.
Best of luck down the road of life.
WebMD community member (since 8/99)
Living with Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
CAD is a chronic disease with no cure. When you have coronary artery disease, it is important to take......
This is especially true if you have had an interventional procedure or surgery to improve blood flow to the heart....../It is up to you to take steps......
Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke
Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors for atherosclerosis (typically affecting the coronary, carotid, and peripheral arteries), which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction, or mutation), diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes secondhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity") high blood pressure (hypertension), high LDL, high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, LOW HDL (less than 40 mg/dL, an HDL level of 60/65 mg/dL or more is considered protective against coronary artery disease), high homocysteine, and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).
"Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"
- Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society
It's your future......be there. :-)
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