When it comes to cardiac stents, people often ask, “Do they cure coronary artery diseases (CAD)?”
The short is, no. However, the stent does help treat the problem.
What we know about CAD is that the plaque in an artery narrows the passageway in your heart, which stops blood from flowing freely. To compress this plaque, the stent is placed in the artery using a balloon catheter, which widens the passage and helps resume the blood flow.
This is the basic function of a cardiac stent.
Let’s take a look at how this function fits in different types of cardiac stents:
Bare Metal Stent
One of the first and most common cardiac stents is the bare metal stent. Made of stainless steel, it has no special coatings. This stent is used for minor angioplasties. After the stent is placed in the artery, tissue grows around it and keeps it in place. The only drawback of this stent is that scar tissue can grow around it and re-block the artery.
Benefits: Is best for quick and easy angioplasty, and shortens the minimal time of blood thinner required.
Drug Eluting Stent (DES)
To prevent the complications caused by the bare metal stent, the drug eluting stent is coated with a medication which keeps the artery lining free of scar tissue. This stent also reduces the risk of restenosis but may lead to blood clots.
Benefits: Prevents scar tissue from building up in the artery lining, less chances of artery blockage.
This stent is not coated with any drug, which speeds up the healing process. This is made possible by the antibody on the surface of the stent, which attracts Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs). These come from the bone marrow and promote natural healing.
Benefits: Prevents early and late blood clots, heals the cell lining faster compared to the DES.
Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)
This stent is covered with a drug eluting coat on a dissolvable scaffold platform that the body absorbs over time. The drug works in the system and prevents restenosis. The scaffold becomes a part of the body, which reduces the chances of re-blockage. However, the healing process after this stent is quite slow.
Benefits: Prevents re-narrowing of the arteries, spontaneous back and forth movement in the blood vessel walls.
Dual Therapy Stent (DTS)
DTS is one of the best stents as it addresses all the problems patients face in the above mentioned stents. It offers the same benefits as a DES and the medication on it has an active healing technology.
Benefits: Drug coating inside and outside that reduces the chances of inflammation and blood clots, actively promotes the healing process, prevents re-narrowing of the arteries.
You might have noticed a pattern that the stents with medication on them offer better benefits compared to those that don’t. Consult a specialist like Dr. Panagiotou to find out which stent will work best for you. As one of the best cardiologists in New Jersey and Bergen County, he will offer you the right advice based on your heart’s deteriorating condition.