Stenting for coronary artery disease (CAD)

A friend told me he had a heart attack 8 years ago and they put in 2 stents. I asked him if they check on the stents when he has doctor visits his doctor, and he said they just listen to his heart and say he's fine. But doesn't the artery that had blockage tend to close back up after after several years? And shouldn't the effectiveness of the stent after so many years be checked more thoroughly than just 'listening' to the heart?  Thanks

Hi Lee,
About 10 -15% of stents fail and patients may also develop blockages elsewhere as the cause of coronary artery disease (CAD) has not been treated. In other words, your friend still has CAD! Therefore, there is lots more to be done than just listening to his heart and it should specifically include efforts to control the risk factors for CAD that may cause atherosclerosis. Above all, treatment should include a heart healthy life style counseling.

Hope this helps,

Dr T


Hi Lee,
Your friend is best treated with careful follow-up visits, advice for a heart healthy life style, a review of possible changes in cardiac symptoms and if there is a change a study such as a stress test, that will show whether there is insufficient blood supply to his/her heart in the outflow territory of the stent or elsewhere. If so, specific studies such as CTCA and/or Cardiac catherization are needed to provide a road map of the obstructions.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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