December 15th, 2010
08:36 AM ET

How long can a stent stay in the body?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. Today, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Question asked by Billy L. Hagler of Tennessee:

How long can a stent stay in the body? What is a sign of a stent closing up in the artery?

Expert answer:

A stent is tubular in shape and usually made of metal or ceramic. It is designed to keep a part of the coronary artery open. Coronary arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle. Stents are placed through a cardiac angiogram, a procedure in which a catheter is placed in the groin and run up to the heart. An angioplasty, in which the narrowed blockage of the artery is opened with the inflation of a balloon usually, precedes the placing of the stent.

Stents were first used in the early 1980s, and some people with those original stents are still doing just fine nearly 30 years later.

Stents can develop blockages too. In recent years, drug-eluting stents have been used in some patients. Those stents are treated with drugs in an effort to decrease the risk of blockages forming. Patients who have stents are also at risk of getting additional coronary artery blockages. A regimen of aspirin therapy and control of cholesterol and triglycerides through diet, medicine or both does appear to decrease risk.

The signs of a blocked stent are the same as the signs of coronary artery blockage. An indication of such a blockage can be decreased exercise tolerance but is often angina. Angina can be a crushing chest pain, a pain that radiates down the left arm or one that goes up into the jaw. It often involves sweating. Angina can even present as a headache. Initially, angina is usually brought on with exertion and relieved with rest.

Patients who suspect they have angina should see medical personnel as soon as possible. Feeling the above described pain while at rest is described as unstable angina, which is a medical emergency. Those suspected of having it should go to an emergency room immediately.

The assessment of the coronary arteries and previously placed stents involves an exercise stress test. Very often, the venous injection of a nuclear medicine is done to assess oxygenation of the heart muscle during exercise. Those who have an abnormal stress test often get an angiogram. This test involves an X-ray opaque dye injected into the coronary arteries as X-rays are taken. The X-rays can demonstrate partial or complete blockages of the arteries and the stents in them. A blocked stent can usually be removed and replaced with angiography. Occasionally, a chest surgery known as coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG, or bypass is needed to remove a stent and restore blood flow to the heart muscle.

Ask our expert doctors a question

soundoff (2,628 Responses)
  1. JebgEncox

    canada viagra https://pharmacylo.com/ best canadian mail order pharmacies

    May 8, 2021 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AnooEncox

    viagra commercial song good morning https://llviagra.com/ generic viagra without a script

    May 8, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Seo Marketing Firms

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 8, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Content Marketing Studios


    May 8, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Social Media Marketing Agency California

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people do not speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!


    May 8, 2021 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV AC Near Me


    May 8, 2021 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Internet Marketing Clinic

    I seriously love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own site and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Appreciate it!


    May 8, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Social Media Marketing Companies Orange County

    Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 8, 2021 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ทางเข้าslotxo

    I have read so many content about the blogger lovers but this paragraph is
    in fact a good post, keep it up.

    May 8, 2021 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RebfZisse

    looking for cialis 60mg https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis sale online

    May 9, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Google Marketing Agency


    May 9, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GtnbCrulk

    best place to buy viagra online https://jokviagra.com/ best viagra alternatives

    May 9, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Sound System Orange County

    This is the right blog for everyone who would like to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for many years. Great stuff, just wonderful!


    May 9, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Buick

    На сегодняшний день сфера логистики настолько развита, что груз можно доставить из любой точки мира в любое указанное место. Наша транспортно-логистическая компания Азия-Трейдинг осуществит доставку и растаможку любого вида груза под ключ.

    May 9, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Internet Marketing Specialists

    This excellent website certainly has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 9, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair California

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Many thanks!


    May 9, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Video Marketing Quotes

    Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 9, 2021 at 04:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Mechanics Orange County

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 9, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Seo Marketing Deal

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    May 9, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Content Marketing Services


    May 9, 2021 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Renovation Los Angeles


    May 9, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. AnooEncox

    viagra for sale from india http://llviagra.com/ effet viagra pour femme

    May 9, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Video Marketing Services


    May 9, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Seo Marketing Ideas

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.


    May 9, 2021 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Local Marketing Consultant

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest blogs online. I'm going to highly recommend this website!


    May 9, 2021 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Orange County


    May 9, 2021 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Google Marketing Program


    May 9, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Frame California


    May 9, 2021 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Couches California

    Greetings, I do think your blog could possibly be having web browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!


    May 9, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Content Marketing Agency Orange County


    May 9, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Blinds Orange County

    I absolutely love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    May 9, 2021 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. FmrfEncox

    overnight pharmacy 4u cialis http://cialisee.com/ – black tab cialis cialis with dapoxetine 80mg

    May 10, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. BbshMile

    viagra generic date https://loxviagra.com/ viagra definition

    May 10, 2021 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Job San Clemente


    May 10, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Social Media Marketing Contractors


    May 10, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Digital Marketing Near Me


    May 10, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Content Marketing Associations

    It’s hard to find educated people about this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 10, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Google Marketing Company


    May 10, 2021 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Content Marketing Irvine


    May 10, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Internet Marketing Firm


    May 10, 2021 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Google Marketing Agencies


    May 10, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Vito

    I'm still learning from you, as I'm trying to achieve my goals. I definitely enjoy reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the stories coming. I loved it!


    May 10, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Digital Marketing Orange County


    May 10, 2021 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Jobs Near Me


    May 10, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. video for kids

    I was able to find good information from your articles.

    May 10, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. slot online

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your
    site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

    May 10, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Internet Marketing Quote

    Great article. I will be facing many of these issues as well..


    May 10, 2021 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Specialist


    May 10, 2021 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Local Marketing Near Me

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.


    May 10, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. GtnbCrulk

    viagra and alcohol https://jokviagra.com/ – female viagra walmart can you buy viagra online

    May 10, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.