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Dr Chip (M.D.)
Dr Chip (M.D.), Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31623
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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What is the lifespan of cardiac stents? My father has 5

Resolved Question:

What is the lifespan of cardiac stents? My father has 5 stents to his RCA that were put in for an MI 5 years ago. He does not have any symptoms. Is it reasonable to request an angiogram to see how the stents are? Can he be restented if he has symptoms or would his next option be a CABG? Thanks.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Does he still follow up with a cardiologist?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not the same cardiologist that did the procedure. He now goes to a VA hospital and I believe he can only see a cardiologist if the attending approves it. He usually sees a different attending each time because the attendings are doing their VA rotation.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
has he recently had any testing like a stress test?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Well, the usual course in a case like his is to get a stress test every year or so unless he's having symptoms like chest pain that might indicate one or more of the stents has occluded. Stent life is variable, but usually it can happen within a year and up to five years after insertion, and there really is no way to predict this with one given patient. There'd really be no need for another cardiac catheterization unless he failed a stress test or had new changes on his EKG
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Other questions?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I didn't think someone with stents could have a stress test. What about restenting a vessel that already has 5 stents?

Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Why did you think that?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thought it would be too strenuous for someone with cardiac history
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Not at all, especially if there were no symptoms of coronary artery blockage. It's done even with patients with a history of more than one heart attacks. As to restenting, that often can be done since the artery itself is open and the stent is what's blocked. That would be assuming there were only one blocked stent and it was the most proximal in the artery--otherwise it might be difficult to threat the catheter past an open stent to get at the blocked one.
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