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Thursday, January 08, 2009 Peyton Padgette, Community Member, asks

Q: My son has a constricted artery in the center of his heart

my 33 yr old son has a constricted artery in the center of his heart. The Dr has put him on an asprin a day for a month, he did mention a stint but doesn't want to do it now. What would be the cons of a stint ?

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Answers (1)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
1/16/09 9:02am

Peyton Padgette,


Thanks for your question.


It sounds like your son has a blockage in a coronary artery that feeds the heart muscle.  A lot depends on the degree of blockage.  If the blockage is less than 70%, then observation and medical management (medication) is the usually indication.  This would include mild blood thinners like aspirin, a low fat diet, and medication to lower cholesterol levels to prevent further blockage and possibly shrink the present narrowing.  If the blockage is greater than 70% then intervention is a strong consideration, in this case, a stent.  If he is symptomatic (having exertional chest pain, or angina), then intervention should be considered earlier. 


Another factor is the blockage itself.  Sometimes, location makes the placement of a stent more difficult.  Also stent placement does carry some risk, and this risk must be weighed against the benefit that would be obtained, which brings in the severity of the heart disease. 


All of the above factors and several more must be thrown into the mix in making the right decision.  If you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting, or the decisions that are being made, you should obtain another decision elsewhere. 


Best wishes.


Martin Cane, M.D.

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By Peyton Padgette, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 01/08/09