Q:

Why is heart-stent surgery necessary?

A:

Quick Answer

The placement of a stent -- a small mesh tube -- inside a weak or narrow artery helps restore blood flow for years after placement, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The American Heart Association notes that stents can reduce the chance of future heart attacks, as well.

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Why is heart-stent surgery necessary?
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Full Answer

Reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain and heart attacks, according to the American Heart Association. The use of stents improves the blood flow in weak, damaged or blocked arteries, and it helps relieve symptoms such as chest pain.

The AHA tracks the recovery of patients with and without stents. The findings reveal that patients with stents are less likely to suffer a renarrowing of the artery, a condition called restenosis. In fact, the AHA reports 1/3 of patients who undergo angioplasty without a stent suffer from restenosis within months of their procedure.

Another advantage of stents, the AHA reports, is a much faster recovery time than patients who have coronary bypass surgery, and stent users report much less discomfort.

It is unlikely for a stented artery to renarrow, says the AHA, thanks in part to drug-eluting stents. A drug-eluting stent is covered with medications that help keep blood vessels open. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that these stents release medicine that prevent blockage, as well.

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