Can a Heart Stent Collapse?

A heart stent cannot collapse, but there are other complications that can occur following a stenting procedure. Stents are used to open blocked arteries, which improves blood flow and reduces the risk of heart attack.

If too much tissue grows around a stent, the artery can become blocked again, but the stent will not collapse. Some doctors prefer to use stents coated with medicine to help prevent excessive tissue growth. These are known as drug-eluting stents.

Experts from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute say blood clots can also form at the site of an arterial stent. Doctors usually prescribe blood thinners for as long as a year following a stent placement to reduce the risk of clotting. Some people need to take blood thinners for the rest of their lives to prevent complications. Aspirin and clopidogrel are two of the most common blood thinners used to prevent clotting in people who have heart stents.