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What is stent thrombosis?

Stent thrombosis is a rare condition that occurs when a blood clot forms on the surface of a stent, raising the risk of blood flow in an artery being reduced or cut off. After either a bare metal or drug-eluting stent is implanted, there is a small risk of stent thrombosis. The chance of forming blood clots is low (it occurs in less than one in 200 patients). However, if blood clots form, the complications can be serious. They can result in recurrent chest pain or heart attack.

To prevent clots from forming, medications that thin the blood and prevent it from clumping to form clots are prescribed to all patients - no matter which type of stent is implanted. These “anti-platelet” medications currently include aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) or prasugrel (Effient).

If you receive a bare metal stent, your doctor will prescribe aspirin and Plavix or Effient for at least one month after your procedure. If you receive a drug-coated, or drug-eluting, stent, current recommendations are to continue daily aspirin and Plavix or Effient for at least a year after your procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.