Paclitaxel Drug-eluting Stents
When a stent is implanted in an artery, the body reacts naturally to heal itself. To accomplish this, the vessel produces a layer of new cells, which will eventually cover the stent. While this covering of the stent is a natural healing response, the layer can become too thick. This leads to a narrowing of the vessel, and reduced blood flow.
To prevent this, Cardiologists at Elliot use a TAXUS™ Express²™ Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System. Paclitaxel is a drug that interferes with the ability of the vessel cells to divide and multiply, therefore reducing re-blockage and repeat procedures.
The procedure for implanting a drug-eluting stent is much like the procedure for implanting a conventional stent. In both cases, the physician will insert an introducer sheath into the groin, arm, or wrist to gain access to the artery. A balloon-tipped catheter will be threaded through the sheath, into the patient’s bloodstream, and to the affected portion of the coronary artery. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the wall of the artery. After the artery has been widened, a second catheter is then inserted with a stent wrapped around the balloon. When the balloon inflates, the stent expands and is imbedded in your arterial wall. The artery will heal around the stent, holding it firmly in place. The special polymer coating on the stent will release an anti-restenosis medication directly into the artery in small, controlled quantities.
The procedure is performed under local anesthetic, so that patients can respond to their physician's directions and notify him or her of any pain they experience during the procedure. While undergoing the procedure, some patients may experience tightness or discomfort in their chest while the catheter is being guided to the lesion and the balloon is expanded. The procedure should take less than two hours. Following the procedure, the doctor will prescribe one or more medications to prevent the formation of blood clots. On average, a patient’s hospital stay may last one to three days.
More information on the TAXUS™ Express²™ Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System can be found at www.BostonScientific.com.