Coronary Artery Disease and Stents

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A stent is a small mesh tube thats used to treat narrowed or weakened arteries in the body. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about stents in the treatment of coronary artery disease in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Coronary artery disease is the buildup of fatty deposits inside the small arteries that supply blood to your heart. This buildup narrows your arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart.

Sometimes, medicines can work well enough to control your symptoms. If medicines are not enough, the artery can be opened up by putting in a stent at the site of the blockage. A stent is a small metal tube that your doctor can inflate with a small balloon to prop open your artery where it is blocked.

If all of your heart arteries are blocked, and especially if your heart isnt working normally, heart bypass surgery may be the best option.

After you get a stent, it is very important that you take two medicinesaspirin and either clopidogrel or prasugrel. You need to take both of them every day and never stop without talking to your doctor. Stopping either of the medicines without your doctors advice may put you at higher risk of a heart attack.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.