Can cardiac stents be replaced if the blockage recurs?

Answers from Martha Grogan, M.D.

Technically speaking, cardiac stents aren't replaced. New stents may be added, but the old stents aren't removed. If the blockage recurs inside a cardiac stent, a new stent is usually placed inside the old stent. Additional stents may be placed if new blockages occur in other parts of an artery. There's no absolute limit to the number of cardiac stents you can have.

The decision to place a cardiac stent depends on your specific heart problem, the number and location of blockages in your coronary arteries, and your overall health. In some cases, your doctor may recommend coronary artery bypass surgery instead of additional cardiac stents.

Jun. 28, 2008