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Can bare metal stents be used for blockage in the heart?

Q: My 60 years old mother underwent an angioplasty and put on Cypherselect plus. She has blockage in the heart and the vessel size is 2.75 mm - 18 mm. Would bare metal stent (BMS) be a good choice or yukon stent? Does the medications like Plavix needed with DES are for longer period than with BMS? Is there any cheaper alternative for Plavix? My mother had some cough before stenting. Was it due to mitral regurgitation?

A:Bare metal stents have a higher restenosis rate of almost 30-40% and therefore medicated stents or drug-eluting stents are a better choice. Anti platelet drugs are definitely needed for a longer period of time with drug eluting stents as compared to bare metal stents and must be taken for at least one year and thereafter your cardiologist will have to take a call. You can try taking Aspirin and Clopidogrel as generic preparation and they may work out cheaper than taking propriety preparations like Plavix. Cough could be due to something as minor as upper respiratory tract infection or on the other extreme, due to fluid in the lungs as a consequence of mitral regurgitation and its not possible for me to comment as to the cause of cough in your mom. I think you should seek a consultation with your cardiologist.


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