Stents proving valuable…

The following article:

Stents Boost Walking Ability for Patients With Blocked Leg Arteries

from MedicineNet.com provide some interesting details on how stents (like the one I have) are being used to help an ever broader segment of the medical population.  In this case, the study looks at patients with blocked leg arteries with a stent placed in the femoral artery to improve blood flow to the legs.  While my stent was placed in my lower abdominal aortic artery (near my right kidney), this is further proof that this
technology has many, many uses.

However, the study was not without its issues. From the article:

But the trial was not an unalloyed success, he said. While those people who got stents were able to walk farther both six months and one year after the implants, the rate at which PAD worsened and the need for further intervention was the same as for people who had angioplasty. And three of the people who received stents later required bypass surgery. None of those who had angioplasty did.

The important part of this is that the stent itself did not fail, rather is was more a case of the patients condition that caused the need for further procedures. 

This bit from the article opened my eyes to a new term and complication:

The case for stents in general has not yet been proven, Hofmann said. “Not all stents are created equal,” he said. Subtle differences in engineering can have a major effect on the risk of stent fracture and other problems, he said.

I’m not exactly sure what a ‘stent fracture’ is or how differently different brands of stent are created, but I’m sure going to do some research on it and figure out what my risks are. 

For the record, I don’t have any of the stent brands listed in the study or in the article.  My stent (if you’re wondering) is a AneuRx AAA Stent Graft System by Medtronic.  Don’t get me wrong, this little bugger saved my life and for that I am thankful, but I will never again feel totally at ease with myself.  I will always recognize that I have a bit of foreign material (an ‘implantable medical device’ ) in
me and things can go wrong.

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