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Multiple Angioplasties -- Is This Routine?

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My friend's father is about to undergo his third angioplasty in four years. I am interested in information regarding the seriousness of this third operation and whether or not it is routine to undergo three of these types of operations.

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Current Postings on This Page (9):

• Last year I had an angiogram and it showed that all my bypass grafts were "wide open". This year --same cardiologist- did another angiogram (in preparation for atherectomy in my upper thigh)and found two blockages in a 16 year old vein graft --95% and 70%. Is that possible within a year --with drugs my cholesterol and blood pressure have been very good including "bad" cholesterol---or did perhaps my cardiologist miss something last year? If the vein graft can block up that fast does that mean it is likely to do so again in other places? Yikes!!
MJV, Hawaii, USA, May 5, 2007

• Karen, the reblocking of a coronary artery is called restenosis and it's sort of like scar tissue, but it's really a different process. Before stents, when only balloons were used, about 25-35% of angioplasties blocked up again within 6 months. Stents reduced that to around 20%. Drug-eluting (medicated) stents have taken the number down to single digits. Nevertheless, the disease process (and other factors) still can cause reblockage, even if the numbers are now less than 1 in 10. But these new devices very definitely help control the formation of reblockage, or "scar tissue", if you will. In addition, there are medications like aspirin and Plavix that can keep platelets from getting sticky and adhering to the stent. It's a complex process, and stents aren't a "cure" for coronary artery disease, just a mechanical solution. On the other hand, the very first angioplasty patient done in 1978 has still not had a repeat procedure.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 5, 2006

• My mother had an angioplasty (with medicated stent) in May of 2004. Apparently scar tissue has formed and she needs another stent just 1-1/2 years later. Is this common? And can she expect this to continually happen in the future. Dr. says there is no way to control scar tissue. Help! I'd like more info. about this.
Karen, Hinsdale/Illinois, December 15, 2005

• I had 3 stents inserted in 1 year, one blocked with 2 months with scar tissue and was treated with brachytherpy (radiation). Unfortunately, all three blocked by the next year, apparently my body doesn't like stents, or so the surgeon said. Now six months after triple bypass surgery I am again having chest pains. I wonder what will be next. The doctor said a medicated stent might do the trick. My bad cholesterol is only 75 so it isn't a cholesterol problem. Any suggestions? Barb
Barbara Medart, Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA, February 08, 2005

• I have 5 stents put in and I thought that was alot, WoW until I read about you. I still have to go for another (75% blockage) and am still quite confused about "when will this end". Everytime I go to get a stent in, they find another blockage-I also have lesions throughout my arteries my age is 41, female,diabetes and smoke. I am still trying to understand all of this, and I still have no DX. I want to know more about all/any stent, heart, mi's involved, meaning risk's and in general what is going on with all of this cardio stuff and what does it mean! Any suggestions? P.s. I am desperately trying to stop smoking (to no avail) so please do not tell me to stop, I know!
Kathy Hernandez, Yonkers, NY, February 01, 2005

• Dear Gary, Your positive thinking is scary. Why didn't you do for a bypass? I am 53 and would like to outlive my father who is now 88...what are the chances?
Dax Tan, gec, Malaysia, 5 May 2002

• I have had 10 angioplasties. 7 coronary, 3 on my legs, with a total of 4 stents. They have not had to cut me open yet. At age 48, I will go with angioplasty all the time if possible. Restenosis is my middle name.
Gary, USA, 13 Jul 2000

• Well your friend's father is a lucky man compared to my father. He had three operations in one year (February, July, September 1999) and he's now "wearing" 5 stents.
Andrea Fare, Milano, ITALY, February 29, 2000

• My friend's father is about to undergo his third angioplasty in four years. I am interested in information regarding the seriousness of this third operation and whether or not it is routine to undergo three of these types of operations.
Sean Davis, US Army, Bloomington, Indiana, USA, September 19, 1999

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