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I Have a Blocked Artery. Should I Have a Stent or Surgery?

January 29, 2021

A blocked artery is an extremely serious medical condition. It’s no exaggeration to say that a blocked artery can put your life in danger, so seeking prompt medical attention is critical when you feel like something is wrong. If you are experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, or any other signs associated with a heart attack, immediately seek help.


In this post, we’d like to discuss the differences between having a stent placed and having heart surgery. Obviously, this post is meant to provide general information only, and nothing can replace the direct input from your doctor. Only by working directly with your healthcare provider can you make the right choice for your wellbeing.


Stents Can Serve Many Patients


First, let’s go through a little introduction to stents. This device is a small wire mesh tube that can be placed in an artery to help keep it open. The stent is not removed after it is placed – it’s meant to stay in place permanently. Those with a narrowed coronary artery can benefit from the use of a stent because the stent can improve blood flow to the heart by opening up the artery properly once again.


There is a lot to like about what stents offer, but they are not a solution that will work for every individual. It’s possible that arteries will reclose after a stent has been placed, meaning that another form of intervention will be required. Also, a patient who has a stent placed will need to take some form of medication, as recommended by their doctor, indefinitely after the procedure is complete. As always, ask questions directly to your healthcare provider to learn more about what is involved with the use of a stent to reduce the risk of a heart attack.


An Alternative


Generally speaking, the alternative for dealing with a blocked artery is coronary artery bypass graft. This is open-heart surgery where another vein will be used to create a new path around the vein that has been blocked. As you might imagine, going through open-heart surgery is a more invasive experience than having a stent placed, but the long-term benefits will make it worth it for many individuals.


Part of the decision on this topic will come down to which artery needs to be addressed. If it is the left anterior descending artery, there is a good chance that bypass surgery will be seen as the preferred choice. However, if it is one of the other two arteries that serve the heart, it might be determined that a stent will be sufficient. Every case is unique, and it’s important to go over all of this with your doctor before any final decisions are made.


Not Always Black and White


For some patients, the preferred option between these two choices will be relatively obvious, and your doctor will have a strong recommendation as to which is best. But that is not always the case. For many people, there will be pros and cons associated with each, and it will be necessary to make a decision based on your personal preferences, your stage of life, and the opinion of your medical professional.


Whatever the final decision may be, don’t wait around too long. If it has been determined that you need either a stent or open-heart surgery, you are already at an increased risk of a serious cardiovascular event. Take that risk seriously and don’t delay in having your chosen treatment performed. When it comes to heart-related health issues, there is no time to waste.


Contact Beverly Hills Cardiovascular


If you would like to schedule an appointment to see Dr. David Filsoof at Beverly Hills Cardiovascular, contact us today. Our friendly staff will be happy to discuss your needs and find a time for an appointment that works with your busy schedule. Some of the many services we are proud to offer include electrocardiogramechocardiographyvenous ultrasound, and more. We look forward to serving you!

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