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. upholstery shop near me


    June 2, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mica Iseman


    June 2, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Chevrolet Cargo Van Repair

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    June 2, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Neta Gallenstein

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


    June 2, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tanisha Perrelli

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


    June 2, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Van Repair Shop Near Me

    I quite like looking through an article that can make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!


    June 2, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. horse trailer restoration


    June 2, 2021 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Wrap Shop


    June 2, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Executive Van Repair


    June 2, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Buddy Woodford


    June 2, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv service orange county ca


    June 2, 2021 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. repair near me

    Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 2, 2021 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv body shop


    June 2, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Conversion Shop Near Me


    June 2, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. reupholstery orange county

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 2, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Cody Borries


    June 2, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. forex

    Quality articles or reviews is the main to invite the people to
    visit the website, that's what this web page is providing.

    June 2, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Floy Sponholz


    June 2, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Rodrigo Pinedo


    June 3, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Van Maintenance


    June 3, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Magdalena Hayashi

    Right here is the perfect website for anybody who would like to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 3, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. windshield repair orange county

    Right here is the right blog for everyone who hopes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that's been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just great!


    June 3, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. MileSwa

    cialis online where to find cheap cialis find cialis online

    June 3, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. stair repair near me

    Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!


    June 3, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Miquel Forres

    Right here is the perfect website for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just excellent!


    June 3, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. camper service near me


    June 3, 2021 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Leia Sordia

    Howdy, I do think your web site may be having web browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great website!


    June 3, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Local Marketing Companies


    June 3, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Chevy Van Repair Panels


    June 3, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ankara escort bayan

    Superb, what a web site it is! This website presents useful data to us, keep it up.

    June 3, 2021 at 04:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv awning repair near me

    This page definitely has all the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    June 3, 2021 at 04:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Dent Repair Riverside

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    June 3, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Local Marketing Experts

    You are so interesting! I do not believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with genuine thoughts on this subject. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that's needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 3, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Agency


    June 3, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mercedes Sprinter Van Repair Motorhome

    Howdy! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have right here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.


    June 3, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. how to repair rv blinds


    June 3, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Mechanics Near Me

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 3, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV AC California

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don't talk about these subjects. To the next! Cheers!!


    June 3, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. orange county trailer repair

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest websites online. I am going to highly recommend this website!


    June 3, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Red Van Repair

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


    June 3, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Agencies Near Me


    June 3, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Sprinter Return Line Repair

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 3, 2021 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. learn more

    magnificent issues altogether, you just received a logo new reader. What may you recommend about your put up that you simply made a few days ago? Any certain?


    June 3, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Batteries Near Me


    June 3, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Services Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the website is also very good.


    June 3, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sprinter Auto Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Digital Marketing Firm

    Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.


    June 3, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Sprinter Tcu Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Van Rust Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. ankara escort bayanlar

    If you are going for best contents like myself, simply go to see this web page everyday
    as it presents quality contents, thanks

    June 3, 2021 at 15:18 | 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.

December 2010
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.