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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How risky is having an artery stent procedure ?

How risky is having an artery stent procedure ?
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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In the hands of experienced cardiologists, and with availability of modern day technology, it is estimated that the risk of death is during a stent procedure is usually less than 1%, while the chance of requiring emergency bypass surgery is around 2% or less. It is a relatively safe procedure and is carried out all over the world. An "out patient" or an inpatient uncomplicated stent case usually require 23 hours or less of hospitalization after the procedure. The risk of a other serious complication is estimated to be less than 4 and probably around 1 to 2 per thousand, and similar to that described for cardiac cath. The risk of a heart attack and bleeding that requires a blood transfusion is increased when compared to cardiac cath. However, the risks are relatively low and acceptable in most cases when one balances the potential benefit against the expected risk (risk-benefit ratio). The aggravation of kidney function (particularly in diabetics and those with prior kidney disease) is higher than that expected with cardiac cath because of the larger amount of contrast material that is usually required. In such cases, the cardiologist takes extra precautions to prevent this possible complication. The stent is completely covered by natural tissue in a matter of 4 - 6 weeks.and the risk of clot formation is nearly absent by that time. In very few cases (1 chance out of 200) a clot may form during the first two weeks after a stent procedure). Such patients develop symptoms of a heart attack. With prompt treatment, the majority of these stents can be reopened.
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