While a stent can save your life if a heart attack is in progress, it does not prevent future heart attacks. Additionally, while a stent can relieve symptoms such as angina (chest pain), the fact that your symptoms have improved does not mean that you are free of heart disease. A stent allows you to move on with your life - and by necessity what must lead to a new healthy and active lifestyle.
Here’s why: The stent you received fixed a serious blockage, but patients with heart disease have build-up of plaque, the fatty substance that causes blockages throughout their arteries. Heart disease is a systemic problem and can only be addressed systemically through medications to prevent blood clots and address cholesterol levels and high blood pressure in addition to dietary changes and regular exercise.
Further, while severe blockages can cause heart attacks, most heart attacks occur in blockages that are less than critically blocked. These vessels have what is called “vulnerable plaque.” They are dangerous because they are susceptible to the formation of blood clot. When a blood clot develops around vulnerable plaque, blood flow may be blocked in the artery and a heart attack occurs.
Stents are effective treatments for both less critical “vulnerable plaque” and for “stable” blockages. Studies show that only patients treated with stents in the setting of a heart attack gain the advantage of a longer life. In more stable patients, stents improve quality of life by reducing chest pain and other symptoms, allowing a quick return to work and activities.While a stent can save your life if a heart attack is in progress, it does not prevent future heart attacks. Additionally, while a stent can relieve symptoms such as angina (chest pain), the fact that your symptoms have improved does not mean that... More