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An everolimus-eluting stent releases medication into the walls of a stented blood vessel to keep it open. It can be inserted in an angioplasty procedure by a trained surgeon or medical technologist. Patients who receive this treatment may need periodic follow-up appointments to make sure the stent is still working and evaluate the patient’s response to it.
Patients with coronary artery disease and certain other conditions can develop an issue known as stenosis, where the vessels harden and narrow. Stenting is one option for the management of stenosis. Historically, this involved inserting a metal mesh into the vessel and expanding it to open the vessel back up and support it. The problem with this approach was that patients were prone to restenosis, because fibrosis would promote the formation of clots that would block the vessel all over again.
Drug-eluting stents are designed to prevent restenosis with chemical compounds that prevent fibrosis and the formation of clots inside the walls of the vessel. In the case of the everolimus-eluting stent, it includes a metal mesh and a plastic coating that slowly releases the drug over time. This medication is immunosuppressive and also limits cell proliferation, reducing inflammation at the site and preventing the development of clots. The everolimus-eluting stent can keep the artery open longer than a bare-metal stent which relies on mesh alone to hold the vessel open.
A procedure to implant an everolimus-eluting stent can have risks for the patient. This can include complications like reactions to medications used, accidental perforation of blood vessels, or thrombosis caused by blood clots loosened during the angioplasty. Working with experienced and trained staff at a cardiac lab can increase the chances of a good outcome, because they perform numerous angioplasties each year and are familiar with the steps. It is also important to follow aftercare instructions meticulously.
Several drug-eluting stents are on the market. If a patient is not a good candidate for an everolimus-eluting stent because the drug might cause complications or a bad reaction, it may be possible to use a product with a different medication. It can be advisable to retain the paperwork associated with the procedure, as it can be helpful in an emergency when care providers might need to know the device is in place. Passing through security checkpoints doesn’t harm stents, and typically the amount of metal present is not high enough to set off any alarms.
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