After the procedure, monitoring in the form of an ECG and blood tests are performed. When no complications are present the patient can be released on the next day. As a stent is a foreign body, medications must be taken to prevent blood clot formation on the surface of the stent. Stents that are covered with a synthetic membrane heal very slowly and require medications (blood thinners) to be taken for up to 12 months. Medications include those such as Plavix, Iscover or Tiklyd. Patients with drug-eluting stents must take medications for six months; those with uncoated stents should take a blood thinner for four weeks. If the medications are suddenly discontinued, an abrupt occlusion of the vessel can occur, a so-called stent thrombosis.
Monitoring is typically recommended six months after the procedure in the form of a cardiac catheterization, as narrowing can reoccur via scarring inside of the stent. If this is the case, a balloon-dilation is performed. If pain occurs within the first six months after the intervention, a catheterization may need to be performed at an earlier time.
Following all types of stent implantation, certain medications (such as Aspirin) must always be taken and regular routine check-ups must be performed. During the check-up, a stress ECG and cardiac ultrasound are performed. This helps to assess if a new vessel occlusion is present and how the heart is functioning.