Symptoms of a stent failure – Key Insights

Published 21 September 2023

Reviewed by: Oriol Rodriguez, MD

Interventional Cardiology

What are stents?

Stents are a widely used medical device used in modern medicine and have revolutionized the treatment of various cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular conditions. The stent purpose is most common in the cardiovascular system, notably in the coronary arteries.

Coronary stents re-open and support blocked arteries during an angioplasty to help improve blood flow to the heart muscle and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

After its implantation, monitoring the stent is essential to the patient’s health, particularly because signs of a stent failure may become evident too late.

However, there is no functional way to monitor a stent after it is placed, besides waiting for the stent failure symptoms and continuous medical evaluations.

angioplasty-stent

Symptoms of Stent Failure

There are a large variety of symptoms that can be related to a stent failure. The symptoms of stent failure can vary depending on the underlying cause and the location of the stent. 

As demonstrated in the Global Journal for Research Analysis  the most common symptoms of stent failure include:

  • Chest pain and/or discomfort (usually similar pain that is experienced during a heart attack. Pain may be during physical activity or while resting)
  • Tightness in the chest ( squeezing, or a pressure-like feeling in the chest)

Other common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing, especially during a hard/big breath)
  • Fatigue (unexplained weakness or tiredness)
  • Palpitations (irregular heartbeats)
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
  • Dizziness/ Lightheadedness
  • Nausea and sweating

Even though these symptoms might pass unnoticed, or they may be confounded by other symptoms, they are serious. To help with the effects of malfunctioning stents regular medical checkups are strongly recommended. 

Common misconceptions about stent failure

One prevalent misconception regarding stent failure is the belief that stents provide a sole permanent solution for enhancing blood flow to the heart. On the contrary, while a stent does help open an artery, it is typically employed alongside lifestyle adjustments and medications to ensure its effectiveness. Patients are encouraged to make modifications to their diet, and exercise routines, and address other risk factors like smoking and alcohol to remove the likeliness of a stent failure.

There are also many misunderstandings about stent failure symptoms that lead to a delayed response in receiving appropriate medical attention. Consistently, patients believe that the symptoms of stent failure will be immediate and obvious. This is very rarely the case, and symptoms develop gradually over time and are not always easily recognizable. Much like this notion, many patients tend to focus solely on chest pain, believing it to be the only significant symptom requiring attention, even though there are other symptoms that can be related to stent failure. Despite that, are all chest pains a sign of stent failure?  

Not all chest pains are a sign of stent failure. Chest pains can have various causes and a stent failure is not the only possibility. There are additional symptoms that are unrelated to the stent as well, such as muscle strain, indigestion, and anxiety.

How NIMBLE Diagnostics can improve the way stents are monitored

NIMBLE Diagnostics was born with the vision of preventing heart attacks from happening again. The NIMBLE System is a first-in-class device that allows a convenient, cost-effective, non-invasive monitoring that leads to early and precise stent monitoring after implantation. This allows the healthcare providers to monitor patients over time, identifying problems early on and saving unnecessary expensive, and oftentimes invasive, diagnostic procedures.

Check out the link HERE to learn more about the NIMBLE Diagnostics technology. 

medical-alert-systems

Summary

It is important to learn and to watch out for the symptoms of a stent failure. Understanding the risks and common symptoms will change the outcome of any patient. It’s most important to look out for pain or pressure, especially within the chest area since this is the most common symptom of stent failure.  It is also important to listen to the patient to listen to their body and see if there is a worsening in shortness of breath, feeling more tired, or noticing irregular heartbeats. If ever in doubt, it’s necessary to contact a healthcare provider to ensure that there has not been an issue regarding the stent implantation. Stents are considered safe; it is just important to monitor the functionality to ensure there are no complications after the procedure.

Discover the future of stent monitoring with NIMBLE Diagnostics. NIMBLE Diagnostics will be able to eliminate some, if not all of this uncertainty, to determine if a stent is working properly. Right after the stent is placed within the coronary artery, the NIMBLE system will be able to see if it is functioning as indented. This technology will be able to save patients time, money, and stress by knowing if there is a complication, dramatically increasing their health. As of today, to determine if there is restenosis or stent failure, the patient must undergo another procedure to confirm this suspicion. However, the NIMBLE system will be able to provide cost-effective, non-invasive, and reliable clinical results.

The information published in this Blog article, or in NIMBLE DIAGNOSTICS website, is provided for information purposes only and does not and cannot be considered as a consultation, treatment, therapy, or medical or clinical prescription, nor is it a substitute for treatment, diagnosis, therapy, or supervision by a healthcare professional. The information published is neither intended to be used as a guide and should not serve nor be used as an exclusive orientation for the healthcare professionals to make decisions about the treatment and therapy of their patients, nor does it replace the healthcare professionals’ criteria. NIMBLE DIAGNOSTICS makes no warranties as to the accuracy, suitability, or completeness of the information provided, and shall not be held responsible for any decisions made based on the information provided on this Blog article, NIMBLE DIAGNOSTICS website or any other websites linked or referenced in NIMBLE DIAGNOSTICS website.

References

Kumar, Sudesh. “CORONARY IN-STENT RESTENOSIS AND CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS  Gjra – Global Journal for Research Analysis – VAT and  Accounting and Emerging Financial Services, www.worldwidejournals.com/global-journal-for-research-analysis-GJRA/file.php. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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