Most coronary artery stents, which are sometimes called cardiac stents or heart stents, are typically made from metal mesh and are implanted in minimally invasive procedures that don’t necessitate any major incisions. Most stent insertions are done under mild sedation and local anesthesia and can be completed in around an hour in simple instances, and the benefits of stenting usually include much quicker recovery times when compared to other cardiac procedures such as coronary artery bypasses.
Relatively Safe, But Still Carries Risk
For the most part, stenting procedures are relatively low in risk and moderately safe. However, as with any surgical procedure – even a minimally invasive one – there is a risk of developing complications. Blood clots can occasionally form in an inserted stent, which can then lead to the artery narrowing once again. In some cases, the blood vessel can become completely blocked – a condition called in-stent thrombosis. Most patients that undergo stenting are prescribed blood thinners in the wake of the procedure to ensure such events don’t occur.
Additionally, manipulating arteries with a stent or any other sort of medical procedure can lead to the walls of the blood vessel becoming injured or damaged. The innermost layer of coronary arteries, known as the endothelium, is particularly susceptible to this sort of damage; the result can be the formation of scar tissue in the area of the stent, and this too can lead to the artery re-narrowing in a process known as restenosis. Treating Restenosis can involve an additional stenting procedure, though in severe cases where a stented artery recloses it may be necessary to have a patient undergo a coronary artery bypass to remedy the condition.
Who Bears Responsibility
Complications such as restenosis or in-stent thrombosis may develop in coronary artery stent patients without any rhyme or reason. In many cases, there are no particular things you can do to reduce your risk of these complications developing, as their formation is simply beyond the control of you or the medical team involved in implanting your stent in the first place.
However, there are some instances where complications occur that could have been avoided. If your stenting procedure involved actions on the part of medical personnel that causes one of your complications to develop – and these complications lead to damaging bodily injury – those that performed your stenting may be held liable for medical malpractice. However, proving medical negligence is a complex and sometimes difficult process that necessitates the aid of a qualified attorney with experience in handling medical malpractice cases.
Consulting with an attorney with the skills and the expertise to determine if you have a viable medical malpractice case will make it easy to figure out if you have a chance of receiving personal injury compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced after a botched stenting procedure. If your attorney offers to represent you, this means that he or she believes there’s enough evidence for you to prevail in civil court. In fact, if your evidence is extremely strong you might not even see the inside of a courtroom if you receive an offer for an out of court settlement.