Frequently Asked Questions: Stents


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About Your Medications


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Are stents removable?
Stent placement is permanent.

What if I get symptoms again?
If your symptoms return, report them immediately to your cardiologist or the center where your procedure was performed.

Can the stent move or rust?
Once in position, the stent does not move on its own. It is made of a non-rusting metal.

Can I walk through metal detectors with a stent?
Yes. Stents will not set off metal detectors in airports or other locations.

Can I get an MRI or other scanner test with a stent?
Yes. Safety testing shows that MRI may be performed immediately following stent implantation, and that MRI testing does not affect the performance of a stent or the drug in drug-coated stents. You should tell your MRI technician that you have a stent.


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Why are anti-clotting medications so important after receiving a stent?
Anti-clotting medications, also called blood thinners or anti-platelet therapy, can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by reducing the risk of a blood clot forming. It is extremely important for you to take these medications as prescribed, even though you are probably feeling better. Talk to your cardiologist before you stop taking your medications, even if directed to do so by another physician, dentist, or pharmacist.

Why are two medications needed?
Aspirin and the prescription anti-clotting medications work differently. Together, they may help prevent your blood from clotting. This helps keep fewer harmful blood clots from forming and blocking blood vessels. Taking both aspirin and the prescription anti-clotting medication provides the best protection against blood clots. It is important to take both medications together to have them work correctly.

What if I forget to take my medications?
If you miss a dose of aspirin and your prescribed anti-clotting medication, take them as soon as you remember. Do not double the dose the next day to catch up.

Is it OK to take anti-clotting medications with the other medications I'm taking?
Make sure your cardiologist or pharmacist knows about all the other medications, vitamins, and other supplements you are taking, or plan to take.

What if another cardiologist, a dentist, or a pharmacist tells me to stop taking the anti-clotting medications?
DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR MEDICATIONS. Contact your cardiologist right away.

Can I stop taking my medications if I start feeling better?
No. You must continue to take your medications every day as prescribed, even after you feel better.

What happens if I stop taking my medications?
You increase the risk of a blood clot forming in or near your stent. A blood clot could cause a heart attack, stroke, or even death.

If I find that I am bleeding a lot when I get a cut or have lots of bruises, should I quit taking my anti-clotting medications?
No. Call your cardiologist before making any changes to your medications.

These medications are expensive. Is financial help available?
You may qualify for financial assistance. Visit for information on financial assistance programs that may be able to help you.


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How soon can I go back to work?
Most patients return to work within a few days following the procedure. Follow your cardiologist's instructions.

Can I play sports?
Yes, but be cautious! Your cardiologist will tell you which sports you can play, and when you can start.

Will I need to change my diet?
Your cardiologist may prescribe a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet to help reduce the levels of fat in your blood and reduce your risk of further disease complications.

What about exercise?
Your cardiologist will tell you what types and how much exercise is right for you.

When can I safely resume sexual activity?
Some cardiologists say if you can climb a flight of stairs comfortably, you can probably resume sexual activity. It’s a good idea to discuss it with your cardiologist first.

Are there any restrictions on air travel with a stent?
Having a stent in place does not prevent air travel. Check with your cardiologist for any medical conditions that prevent air travel.



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