Since the introduction of coronary stents, millions of people with heart disease have benefited from this less-invasive approach to opening blocked arteries—and the technology just keeps getting better.
An interview with
Charles R. Cannan, MD Interventional Cardiologist
The Vancouver Clinic-Cardiology
These little wire mesh devices now come with a special drug coating that prevents the surrounding tissue from growing back into the stent and causing re-blockage of the artery. Known as drug-eluting stents, the devices keep vessels open longer and reduce the number of repeat procedures.
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center began using drug-eluting stents in 2003. Today, more patients than ever are receiving these super stents. In fact, as many as 70% of patients at PeaceHealth Southwest who receive a coronary stent are getting a drug-coated version.
They do require, however, the prolonged use of dual anti-platelet, or blood thinning, medications to prevent clots from forming. For this reason, not everyone is eligible to receive a drug-eluting stent.
Published February 2008.