The Dangers of Unnecessary Cardiac Stents

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2017 | Doctor Errors, Hospital Negligence, Surgical Errors

Cardiac disease is dangerous and life-threatening. Therefore, it’s understandable that when a physician suggests surgical intervention to treat a heart problem, you and your loved ones take the recommendation under serious advisement.

Most patients aren’t experts on cardiac issues. They rely on the knowledge, experience, and expertise of their doctors to provide essential guidance on their treatment. Unfortunately, this reliance can lead to the insertion of an unnecessary cardiac stent, and the consequences can be deadly.

About Coronary Stents

Cardiac stents are small, expandable, tube-shaped devices used to treat coronary heart disease by keeping the arteries open. Patients with cardiac issues can often benefit from the reinvigorated blood flow associated with implantation of the stent.

For many cardiologists, implantation of a stent is the immediate go-to for coronary disease. This, despite a great deal of increasing evidence that runs counter to this approach. In about 50 percent of these cases, surgeons implant the heart stent while the patient is in stable condition. But studies indicate that stents in stable patients don’t prevent heart attacks at all, and have no impact on life extension. Instead, there are a number of very dangerous risks associated with the implantation of an unnecessary stent.

Medical Risks

Your body will react aggressively to any foreign object in your body. When the object is near your heart, the ensuring complications can be deadly. Some of the potential risks of a cardiac stent include the following:

  • Artery blockage
  • Artery perforation
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Heart attack
  • Hemorrhage
  • Additional surgeries or procedures
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Other complications that lead to death

A 2012 medical trial discovered some alarming information:

Hundreds of thousands of stable patients receive stents annually, and one in 50 will suffer a serious complication or die as a result of the implantation procedure.

Medical Malpractice Issues

The profitability of cardiac stent procedures may play a role in the number of unnecessary stents implanted in patients. Doctors driven purely by profit margins are far more likely to provide sub-standard care to their patients, and are therefore open to liability.

A recent Connecticut malpractice case alleges that a cardiologist performed as many as 5 medically unnecessary cardiac stent implantations. More of these types of cases are cropping up around the nation as patients and family members are becoming increasingly aware of the potential dangers of these operations and the very real possibility that the implanted stent wasn’t medically necessary.

There are some indicators that your doctor or your loved one’s physician may not have been as thorough as he should have been before implanting a heart stent. Leaping immediately on a surgical solution without first trying medication and other non-invasive treatments may be a warning sign.

If you or someone you love experienced serious to deadly complications from a heart stent that may not have been necessary, you may wish to speak with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation and learn about your rights.


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