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Heart stents pose potential risks and side effects that all patients must consider

In the United States, a leading health concern is coronary heart disease. Currently, this health concern is amounting to over 370,000 deaths per year. Individual’s with a coronary heart disease suffer from plaque, a waxy substance, buildup that can have a serious impact on an individual’s health. Subsequently, the buildup of unwanted plaque results in the narrowing of the individual’s arteries. This narrowing allows for the reduction of proper oxygen-rich blood flow to the individual’s heart. In order to combat this, individuals have options, one being to elect to have a heart stent procedure.

In today’s society there are hundreds of thousands individuals that have chosen to have a heart stent implanted due to health complications.

Heart stents, in the past, were primary made using bare-metal or mesh and are still presently an option. Although, for over a little more than a decade, drug-eluting stents have been manufactured, approved and used in the United Stated as well. Two popular types of drug-eluting stents being used currently are the Boston Scientific Taxus Stent and the Johnson & Johnson Cypher Stent. Regardless of the type, all of the heart stents are the subject of some criticism and documented complaints due to their potential risks and side effect(s).

A primary concern is that the manufactures of the stents may have not properly warned the patients of the potential risks attached to their stents. Possible risks involved with having a stent procedure to be considered by individuals, prior to having a heart stent procedure, include:

  • Heart attack
  • Allergic reaction to the stent, dyes or medications used throughout procedure,
  • Blood clots,
  • Bleeding,
  • Re-narrowing of the artery,
  • Scar tissue growth within the stent that requires repeat procedure(s),
  • An infection of the vessel,
  • Kidney stones as a result of using a stent in the ureters,
  • Breathing complications or issues,
  • Infection of the vessel

The most common area for concern surrounding heart stent procedures has been individuals suffering from blood clotting, most commonly late stent thrombosis (blood clots at the site of the heart stent). Another leading fear is that the manufactures may have not recommended a proper length of time for patients to continue to use blood thinners after their procedures which may result in additional complications, specifically an increase in possible blood clotting.

One of the most startling areas for patients considering or about to have a heart stent procedure (or those that already having had the procedure) is that the side effects can take varying lengths of time to be seen or detected. Documented side effects have been seen in patients months or even years after the heart stent procedure has been completed.

Individuals that have experienced negative side effects have reported problems relating to:

  • Heart attack,
  • Reclogging of the artery,
  • Ulcers,
  • Strokes,
  • Seizures,
  • Angina (chest pain),
  • Severe bleeding,
  • Swelling,
  • Death