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Question:

How many stents can a patient have?

Can you tell me how many stents a patient can have? I had an MI in September of 2010. I had 3 stents placed then. Approximately 3 weeks ago, I had 2 more. I am a 45 year old male.  

submitted by James from Tennessee on 4/28/2011

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott R. Sherron, MD  

Scott R. Sherron, MDThis is a great question. There is no absolute maximum number of stents. Depending on the circumstances and timing, a person could potentially receive 10-15 or even more stents even under reasonable and appropriate care. However, it is right to start to question the plan for high volume stenting if many are done at same setting and anytime the total is above 5 or so. There are times when even well-meaning cardiologists can "get carried away" and forget that bypass surgery remains a very safe, reasonable and effective alternative to stenting.  Also, medical therapy is often a very reasonable alternative if symptoms are well-controlled. Overall, decisions about revascularization are complex and must be individualized.    

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Updated May 2011
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