Professor Ran Kornovsky about coronary stents
Any patient in need of cardiac surgery experiences a great deal of stress about it. Professor Ran Kornovsky – a leading cardiosurgeon at Herzliya Medical Center, tries to dissolve some of the patients’ fears and talks about cardiac catheterization and stents.
Coronary disease affects thousands of people every year. The most common reason for it is blockage or narrowing of the blood vessel as a result of plaque setting on the artery walls. These obstructions prevent blood and oxygen from reaching the heart and need to be treated.
Therapeutic catheterization, also known as angioplasty, is performed with a catheter at the end of which a special balloon is placed. Once the catheter reaches the blocked part of the blood vessel, the balloon is inflated in order to push the plaque aside. To prevent recurrent blockage a special stent is placed in the vessel.
What are the risks of angioplasty with stenting?
According to prof. Kornovsky, one of the possible post-stenting complications is recurrent blockage of the stent as a result of accelerated fibrous tissue growth. In order to deal with this problem a special medicine-covered stent was developed. During the first several weeks/months after the surgery the stent secrets medication, thus preventing fibrous tissue growth. Studies have showed that medicine-covered stents are much more effective in preventing repetitive catheterizations and bypass surgery than the regular ones.
Professor Kornovsky continues to talk about the risks: blood clots and possible heart attack. Unfortunately, 1-2% of the patients develop blood clots in the stent and are at great risk of a heart attack. This statistics applies to both regular and medicine-covered stents. According to prof. Kornovsky even these 1-2% can be prevented if you follow a few simple rules:
- Under no circumstance should the patient stop taking blood thinners without specific instructions from the treating physician.
- If the patient has had several stents implanted then he is in greater risk of heart attack than usual. Which is why those patients should pay extra attention to their health and not take medical follow-up for granted.
What else can you tell us to calm the patients facing catheterization?
“All decisions regarding the treatment plan should be made with the patient and not for him. The patient should be aware of all the treatment possibilities and of all the risks for each option. Once the patient has consented to the catheterization – all the necessary information about complications and lifestyle changes should be given to him prior to the procedure”.
“All complications can be prevented simply by informing the patient of everything he needs to know prior to the treatment. The choice between a regular and a medicine-covered stent is entirely up to the patient.”
HMC’s cardiosurgery department is equipped for all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Our specialists are leading physicians from all over Israel and they are ready to receive you on short notice. An individual treatment plan will be prepared and executed using the newest methods available.