Sunday, October 26, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 LeeAnn, Community Member, asks

Q: How long does a heart stint last?

I had a stint placed into the main right artery of my heart which was 90% blocked. This procedure was done in May 2003. I haven't had any further problems with my heart and I only take 2.5 mg of Altace and a 325 mg aspirin a day. Will the stint be good for many years or is there a failure expectancy in length of years?

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Neil MD, Health Pro
10/16/08 8:51pm

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Hello LeeAnn,


As for how long the stent should last, my answer is that they can last as long as you do. However, whether they last that long is mostly up to your lifestyle, healthcare, and a little bit of luck.  I can't quote you a specific number of years or average percent of restenosis (re-narrowing of the arteries) in patients because it varies widely depending on your medical history, number/type of stent, and many other factors.

 

They problem with stenting is not that they fail by dissolving, or getting dislodged or the like.  Stenting most often fails for the same reasons that the stent had to be implanted in the first place.  High blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, among other factors can cause a re-narrowing (restenosis) of the coronary vessels that supply your heart.  Also, stents fail because patients stop taking important medications too soon, like the anti-clotting drug, Plavix.

 

If you are experiencing chest pain/tightness, shortness of the breath with activity or at rest, you need to visit your doctor soon.  These are signs that you heart is potentially once again not getting the blood supply it needs. 


To your health,

Neil MD

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By LeeAnn, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/20/13, First Published: 10/15/08