Drug coated vs. Bare Metal Stents: Which One Better for Diabetes or Blocked Coronary Arteries (Risk of Heart Attacks)
Stents have been used for many years to clear blockages in the arteries of the heart and neck. But the arteries in the brain present a very different challenge because they are more fragile and have many more curves, making it harder to get the stent to the site of the blockage. Physicians use a minimally invasive technique to deploy the stent inside the brain.
A coronary stent is stainless tube with slots. It is mounted on a balloon catheter in a "crimped" or collapsed state. When the balloon of is inflated, the stent expands or opens up and pushes itself against the inner wall of the coronary artery. This holds the artery open when the balloon is deflated and removed. Coronary artery stents were designed to overcome some of the short comings of angioplasty.
Angioplasty is a technique that is used to dilate an area of arterial blockage with the help of a catheter with an inflatable, small, sausage-shaped balloon at its tip. It helps to keep arteries open after balloon angioplasty. The stent then allows the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
There are two basic kinds of stents: bare-metal stents and drug-eluting stents:
- Bare-metal stents, as the name implies, are metal stents with no special coating. Bare-metal stents act as simple scaffolding to prop open blood vessels after they are widened with angioplasty.
- Drug-eluting stents are coated with medication that is slowly released (eluted) to inhibit the growth of scar tissue in the artery lining. This helps the artery remain smooth and open, assuring good blood flow through it. Drug-eluting stents reduce this risk to less than 10 percent, and less than 5 percent of people need repeat procedures.
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