Coronary Stents

We’re going to have a hell of a time putting the genie back in the bottle. It’s a $15-$20 billion industry. You have huge vested interests that are going to push you back - Dr. Salim Yusuf

Coronary Stents
Coronary Stents

image by: Spectrum Health

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Which Heart Patients Need Stents? A New Study Stirs Debate

Nearly every day for the past month Roxana Mehran, an interventional cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and her colleagues have been getting calls from patients wondering if their stents were really necessary.

Yes, the doctor assures them, they were prime candidates to receive a stent, a small device used to prop open clogged arteries in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Mehran, who is chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Interventional Council, says she told one such patient, “Don’t worry, I made sure with the physiology test. You were having three to four episodes of chest pain a week. You couldn’t walk two blocks.”


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 Which Heart Patients Need Stents? A New Study Stirs Debate

Some doctors say medication can treat mild cases of clogged arteries as well as surgery, while others remain believers of angioplasty procedures called PCIs.

Angioplasty.Org was created in 1997 as a way of celebrating the first two decades of interventional cardiology and to serve as a community, information source and historical archive for cardiologists and other healthcare professionals. We featured original video interviews with renowned physicians and researchers, news and discussion of controversial issues. However, unlike most physician websites, we decided to remain open and noncommercial. No passwords, no "doctors only" registration, no industry advertisements.

Like angioplasty, coronary stents physically opens the channel of diseased arterial segments, relieves the recurrence of chest pain, increases the quality of life and reduces other complications of the disease.


Angioplasty is often combined with the permanent placement of a small wire mesh tube called a stent to help prop the artery open and decrease the chance of it narrowing again. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep your artery open (drug-eluting stents), while others are not (bare-metal stents).

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Stents usually are made of metal mesh, but sometimes they're made of fabric. Fabric stents, also called stent grafts, are used in larger arteries. Some stents are coated with medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery. These stents are called drug-eluting stents. The medicine helps prevent the artery from becoming blocked again.

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