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British Heart Foundation
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stents inside stents which are inside stents!

I have just had third heart attack in less than 3 years. Each time stents x 2 via angioplasty. Second time, first stents blocked up and new stents were inserted inside old stents! Rare they said but not unheard of. Third attack last week they said new stents inside existing, so I now have triple layered stents in 2 places. medics say not unheard of but they have not actually seen it before and seem uncertain what long term treatment I should have, so I have no reason not to think it could happen for a 4th time!. I am healthy in general, active, never had high BP or bad cholesterol and a perfect BMI and eat a near Mediterranean diet. I am seeking anyone with info on a similar situation please.

12 Replies

Wow you must be incredible person to go through this experience. I’ve heard stenting within stents is doable.

What was their explanation for them ‘blocking up’? The stent failing is my greatest fear .

Sorry I realise that’s not providing you similar experience.

I’ll be keen to see who else replied with similar.

Take care


Thanks Pinnelli. I don't think they "failed" per se, just became blocked again. No real explanation has been forthcoming.


Hi Just wondering why they persist in stenting rather than by pass surgery ?? Reason I ask is the Cardiologist first said to me after an Angiogram I think I can fix this with stents and then came back later with "looked at the pictures again and CABG is the best way forward " I will put you to the Surgeon with the Shortest List !!

Read this weekend about CABG it said 1 year after Surgery an estimated 15 % of Grafted Veins have significant damage, the figure at 5 years is 40% and 60% after 10 years. I think this is just veins rather than arteries. I have one of each Internal Mammary artery to my LAD and Leg vein to Circumflex. I see they now have a sleeve to fit over the stented artery to stop it bulging with the increase in blood pressure flowing through it and they think this will be a great step forward in stopping CABGs failing.

ps I have had stents to my Proximal LAD which was carried out through the Grafted Artery.

Regards Frank W


Thank you Frank. I am being treated where it happened in Spain and asked about surgery alternatives and they just said no! In fairness this is all just days old, so I may learn more at review in 2 weeks time. BR Andy


Stents can block by a process called ISR (in-stent restenosis). This can occur as a result of the usual suspects (but this does not sound the issue here) or the body perceiving it as a foreign body and the immune system causing narrowing near or within the stent. As Frank W suggests CABG might be the longer term solution. If on artery only is badly affected it my be felt it is better to avoid major surgery unless absolutely necessary.

The original plan was that I was going to have stents but severe calcification meant it was not an option so I was referred for CABG.


Hi Michael, Thanks for replying. That (ISR) is something new to me and worth investigating so many thanks for the information. As I am stuck in Spain, I am looking for a review in UK (or second opinion) once I am allowed to fly again. Thanks to you.

BR Andy


Hi Andy, glad to hear that the information was of interest. Once back in the UK it is worth going private for the initial consultation. I think it is £200 - £250 well spent as it gets things moving even, if say, you have an NHS bypass. Cheers, Michael


Hi Michael,

Good advice - thank you very much. BR Andy


I’m surprised you needed stents as you sound healthy, what caused your heart attack? I’m just recovering from mine and got 1 stent done


Hi, Of course I was a smoker for 40 years! The only likely cause apart from a family history of heart disease. I have not smoked since the day before my first HA in early 2016 but I continue to pay for my misdeeds! Now 65 years old also. The first was a bolt from the blue without previous warning but it explained why I had been feeling so exhausted the previous few months. I work in a physically active role and never led a sedimentary lifestyle. BR Andy


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) narrows arteries, excess insulin increases blood volume and visceral fat. Fructose thickens blood. In essence, insulin resistance causes chronic heart disease.



A neighbour of mine had stents done in the Costa Del Sol Hospital and has never needed any more treatment and that was 5 years ago !!



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