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Stents: Bare Metal or Drug Eluting–Which is Better for You?

July 13th, 2012 by Deb Wilson

How many of you knew that there was even an option or that you should be discussing the option with your doctor?  Now that you know, MedlinePlus (A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health has published some information to aid in the conversation.

Along with being more costly, so-called drug-eluting stents require patients to take aspirin and other blood-thinning drugs for a longer period of time after their procedure – which may mean they have to put off future elective surgeries because of bleeding risks, according to one researcher who worked on the report.

Some patients having a stent inserted are at high risk of having that stent get clogged up, requiring a repeat procedure. In those patients – such as people with diabetes or narrow arteries – drug-eluting stents can help prevent build-up in and around the stent and avoid future surgeries, said Dr. Robert Yeh, a cardiologist from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

But in people whose stents probably won’t get clogged up to begin with, old-fashioned bare-metal stents can work just as well at a much lower price, he said. “Non-diabetic patients who have big arteries and have very short blockages, their rate of restenosis can be quite low, even with bare-metal stents,” Yeh told Reuters Health.

Expensive, Newer Stents Not Better for All Patients

A lot of good information in this article to help you and your doctor determine the approach that may work best for you and help you understand the risks of your decision.

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