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. Mercedes Sprinter Van Service Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!


    May 17, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 2021 Maserati Quattroporte


    May 17, 2021 at 03:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 2010 Sprinter Seat Belt Buckle Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    May 17, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 3.0 Sprinter Vacuum Pump Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sprinter Van Repair In Huntington Beach


    May 17, 2021 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Transit Van Repair Panels


    May 17, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Best Tucker Sprinter Repair

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    May 17, 2021 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dodge Sprinter Repair Shops

    Everyone loves it when people get together and share ideas. Great blog, keep it up!


    May 17, 2021 at 06:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mercedes Sprinter Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sprinter Truck Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Frieghtliner Sprinter Abs Module Repair

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 17, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sprinter Service


    May 17, 2021 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dr Maserati

    You are so awesome! I don't think I've read through anything like this before. So great to discover somebody with unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 17, 2021 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Repair Van

    I used to be able to find good information from your articles.


    May 17, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Side Door Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Cdi Injector Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 2017 Maserati Quattroporte Configurations

    I enjoy reading an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    May 17, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. rv refrigerator repair near me

    bookmarked!!, I love your web site!


    May 17, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. camper repair shops


    May 17, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Maserati Mexico


    May 17, 2021 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Maserati Career

    I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new things you post…


    May 17, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. best rv service near me


    May 17, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. horse trailer remodel

    Great article! We will be linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 18, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. LbsoZisse

    buy cialis online http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis generic name

    May 18, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv campgrounds orange county ca

    Hi there, There's no doubt that your website may be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, great site!


    May 18, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RebfZisse

    generic cialis online purchase https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis without prescriptions discount cialis

    May 18, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. american leak detection orange county


    May 18, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. AnooEncox

    viagra erectol https://llviagra.com/ viagra the thrill that was by hilary stout

    May 18, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Aston Martin Vs Maserati

    Hello there! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have here on this post. I am returning to your website for more soon.


    May 18, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. how to start a food truck business in minneapolis

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    May 18, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Cider Company


    May 18, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. caterer business plan

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is extremely good.


    May 18, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Nyc Kegs


    May 18, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Maserati Modis


    May 18, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Emergency Dental Nearby


    May 18, 2021 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. best air conditioning companies near me


    May 18, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Affordable Oral Surgeon


    May 18, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. LebnEncox

    cialis generic pharmacy online pharmacy on line approved canadian online pharmacies

    May 18, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dentists Near Me

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    May 18, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. air conditioning repair parts near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is really good.


    May 18, 2021 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Walk In Dentist Clinic


    May 18, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LebnEncox

    24 hour drug store near me http://xlnpharmacy.com/ online pharmacy cialis

    May 18, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Cheap Oral Surgeons

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now 😉


    May 18, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Family Dental Clinic Near Me


    May 18, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Metal Roofing For Sale Near Me

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.


    May 18, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Digital Marketing Businesses

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this issue. I really like all the points you've made.


    May 18, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. energy pills for women


    May 18, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Forklift Maintenance Los Angeles

    May I just say what a comfort to uncover a person that genuinely understands what they are discussing online. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must look at this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you're not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


    May 18, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Roofing Company Near Me


    May 18, 2021 at 22:01 | 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.