How Long Does A Stent Last In the Heart?

February 15, 2023
5 min read

Do not get scared if your report shows a block in your blood vessels to the heart. You can use a stent to solve this issue with ease. A stent is a small, mesh-like device that opens up a narrow or blocked blood vessel. Since it is placed inside your heart, you must know how long stents usually last.

What Is A Stent and Its Function?

Typically, plastic or metal stents are put inside the blood vessel in a minimally invasive procedure. They are set to open the obstruction, causing less blood flow to your heart. During the process, your cardiologist makes a small cut in the skin to place a catheter (the thin, flexible tube) through the blood vessel at the block site.Next, the stent is placed over a balloon catheter and inserted into the narrowed area. During balloon inflation, the stent expands and pushes itself against blood vessel walls improving blood flow.Once the stent is set in its place, it acts like a platform to keep the blood vessel open. This also prevents it from collapsing or getting blocked again. With time, your body's natural healing will incorporate the stent into its surrounding tissues to make it a permanent part of your blood vessel.

How Long Do Stents Last?

The lifespan of a stent depends on various factors, such as the type of stent used, the location of the stent, and your overall health.There are two types: bare metal stents and drug-eluting stents.Bare metal stents are made of metal and not do not have any medication in them. At the same time, drug-eluting stents are coated with medication to prevent the re-narrowing of the blood vessel.Bare metal stents can last for many years, like a decade or so, but there is a risk of re-narrowing the blood vessel over time, which may require additional procedures. Drug-eluting stents have a lower risk of re-narrowing, and they are permanent.

Factors Affecting The Life of Cardiac Stents

The most common type of stent used in cardiac procedures is the drug-eluting stent (DES). These stents are coated with drugs that help prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries.DES can last several years; some studies suggest they may last up to 10 years or even more. However, there are some factors that can affect how long stents last. These factors include:

  • Placement: Stents in larger blood vessels last longer than those placed in smaller vessels.
  • Stent Maintenance: You may think that there is nothing you can do, but there is. Follow your doctor's instructions, take medicines regularly, and make lifestyle changes to maintain the health of your blood vessels.
  • Type of stent used: While DES is the most common type of stent used since it lasts long, there are other kinds available, too, like bare-metal stents (BMS). They are not coated with medication and may have a shorter lifespan than DES, lasting around 1-2 years.
  • Overall Health: Some people may be at higher risk for stent failure due to co-morbid issues such as diabetes, smoking, or older age.

Final Words

You must follow the instructions given by your doctor to ensure that your stent lasts a good time and there is no need for replacement. You can get in touch with heart specialists from Northwest Cardiovascular for more information or any help. We are available round the clock; dial (281) 807-5253 to connect with us.

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