Is stenting safe and how long does it last?
Q: My husband, (diabetic patient type II) had a heart attack three months back. His pain started from throat, and as he was suffering from tonsils, it was assumed that pain is due to tonsils. A painkiller was given at the time of heart attack and we later rushed to the hospital because the pain was going on for more than one hour. In the emergency doctors were not clear if it was a symptom of heart attack until he mentioned that there was little pain in his left arm. (My husband was also assured that it was a throat problem). Later it was diagnosed as severe heart attack and treated accordingly. Angiography was done and one left main artery was blocked for which an ordinary stent was fixed. After this for 2.5 months his BP was very low 90/60 mm Hg which has now become normal. At times his heart beat increases to 100 or more. At present he is taking Aspirin, Cardivas, Amarly 1 mg. I want to know the following : 1. How safe is a stent and what is the life of a stent? 2. Can the damaged part of the heart be repaired? 3. Is there is any risk to life? 4. What precautions should we take?
A:Stenting is a relatively safe procedure. Once implanted than stent remain part of body forever. However in normal stents there is a chance of restenosis in first 6 months (depending upon length of lesions etc ranging from 8 - 60%). If the heart is totally revascularised than whatever heart muscle has to regain gains in first 3-6 months time. He should be evaluated for EF by 2D Echo Doppler. Risk to life in later recovery of heart attack may be due to arrhythmia in low ejection fraction cases. He should control his risk factors optimally and should follow a stress free life style. He should also get evaluated again at 6 months time (with stress test etc) even if he is asymptomatic.