What happens if my stent stops working?

 Stents, the tiny wire-mesh tubes used to prop open blocked arteries, are useful for treating heart attacks and chest pain that occurs with physical activity. They’re placed during a coronary angioplasty and stenting procedure, which usually involves snaking a thin tube (catheter) through a vessel in the upper thigh or the wrist up to the heart. After more than two decades of use, today’s stents are safer and more effective that the original versions. Problems can still arise, but they are uncommon and treatable.

A little history about stents may help you understand the challenges they can pose. The first stents were bare metal. Sometimes, cells in the artery walls multiplied and grew through openings in the stent, blocking blood flow. This process is known as restenosis. Coating stents with a drug that gradually seeps into the surrounding tissue slowed down the overgrowth of those cells.

But another problem soon came to light. The drugs sometimes prevented any cells from covering the stent. Without that protective sheath, blood clots can form on the stent, creating a problem known as stent thrombosis. That’s why people who receive a stent take anti-clotting drugs to minimize the risk of a clot forming inside the stent.

Today’s third-generation stents use different drugs. They create a layer of cells inside the stent that’s not so thick that it causes restenosis, but not so thin that it attracts a clot. But you still need to take anti-clotting medications, such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix), usually for at least six months to one year, though potentially longer, depending on the reason for the stent in the first place. So be sure to follow your doctor’s advice regarding those medications and any others you take for heart disease, such as statins and blood pressure drugs.

Don’t forget that your other coronary arteries, and other spots in the same artery, may have cholesterol-filled plaques that could cause blockages. So, do everything you can to keep that atherosclerosis in check: eat plenty of plant-based foods and exercise regularly. Those other arteries are probably more likely to cause a problem down the road than the one you have already had stented.

However, in the event that a stented artery closes up, it can be reopened. Doctors can maneuver a drug-coated stent wrapped around a balloon into the middle of the closed-up stent. Inflating the balloon pushes aside the material obstructing the old stent and opens the new one. Sometimes, it’s necessary to first use a tiny drill or laser to cut through the obstruction. Another possible option is bypass surgery, which involves grafting a blood vessel that is taken from the chest, arm, or leg to bypass the blocked heart artery.

— by Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H.

Below are spiritual recipe for health and wellness: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV 

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

  The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV 

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 NIV 

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24 NIV

 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

  A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! Proverbs 15:23 NIV 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV 

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