ZocdocAnswersShould I have a stent consultation if I have coronary heart disease?

Question

Should I have a stent consultation if I have coronary heart disease?

Can this prevent me from having heart attacks in the future? I have read that stents are very successful.

Answer

Stents can play an important role in the treatment of coronary artery disease. However, it is important to understand what that role is, and the limitations of their role. The best type of physician for you to speak to about this is a cardiologist. Stents act to prop open a blood vessel that have begun to close because of blockages in the arteries. These blockages are called coronary artery disease. In general, stents do not prevent heart attacks from happening. Their main role is to reduce symptoms of coronary artery disease (such as chest pain and shortness of breath). Thus, stents can play a very important role in improving the quality of life of a person with coronary artery disease. If you are having symptoms of coronary artery disease, then a stent may be the right option for you. The test which will determine this is a coronary artery catheterization with angiography. This will tell where you have blockages and how many you have. Certain people benefit more from bypass surgery than stents if they have a certain pattern of disease. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. He or she can listen to your symptoms, review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and determine what the next best step is for your care. Good luck.

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