A stent is a tube like scaffold made up of a metal wire net, quite similar to spring used over the refill of a ball-pen. After widening the artery with a balloon, placing a stent inside the artery not only supports the artery but also reduces the possibility of recurrence of block at the same site from approximately 30% to only 10%.
These stents are made of metal-stainless steel or cobalt chromium, which is well accepted by the body.
Recurrence of the block at the same site where angioplasty is done (restenosis) has been a serious challenge for medical science. The invention of stent has helped to gain victory over it to good extent. Science has invented drug eluting stent (DES) or medicated stent after the year 2001. The medicine (sirolimus, everolimus, paclitaxel, zotarolimus, etc.) applied over it, keeps on getting released for subsequent 15 to 90 or more days after stent implantation. These medicines reduce the accumulation of tissue layer inside the stent. With the use of such stent, possibility of such stent, possibility of recurrence of block has reduced to less than 5%. Because of very good long-term results of drug eluting stent, angioplasty for more complex blocks can be done with great confidence now. Excellent results are obtained for many complex situations like blocks in all three arteries, multiple blocks, bifurcation blocks (where two branches come out), very old blocks (chronic total occlusion), blocks in the left main artery, etc.
Very good results of DES have made procedure of angioplasty highly acceptable across the world. For many cases where bypass surgery was suggested some years before, now angioplasty is a more preferred option.
simple procedure and excellent long-term success! It is because of these reasons only, the annual number of bypass surgery has been reducing and that of angioplasty has been increasing in America and other western countries.
for the last 2 years, stent that gets dissolved or absorbed after few months (Absorb stent) has also been introduced. This can be called a historic invention. This polythene-made device provides required support to the artery for an initial period of 6 to 12 months and then starts getting dissolved or absorbed. The artery becomes completely normal after 2 to 3 years.