We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is in-Stent Restenosis?

By Jennifer Hicks
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

During balloon angioplasty, which is a procedure performed to open a narrowed artery, an interventional cardiologist places a stent in the artery to support it after the blockage has been removed. Over time, healthy heart tissue grows around the stent. Sometimes, however, scar tissue also builds around the stent and leads to new narrowing in the artery. This renewed narrowing is called in-stent restenosis or stent reocclusion.

In-stent restenosis is a type of new narrowing of a formerly blocked artery, so symptoms tend to mimic those of the original problem. These include chest pain and shortness of breath during exercise or exertion. These symptoms, however, do not signal a new heart attack but narrowing caused by built-up scar tissue. Some patients, including diabetics, sense no new symptoms at all.

The treatment for in-stent restenosis depends in part on what type of stent was implanted during the original angioplasty procedure and whether that stent was placed properly. If a stent is inserted in an artery but not expanded fully, more room is left for scar tissue to build up between the stent and the artery wall. In a case such as this, an interventional cardiologist can reinsert a catheter, expand a balloon in the artery and use the stent, now further expanded, to compress scar tissue against the artery wall and ease the restenosis.

Drug-eluting stents slowly release medication to reduce the body’s ability to create new cells that might lead to scar tissue. If a drug-eluting stent was placed properly the first time, a cardiac surgeon might replace it with another type of drug-coated stent. If an uncoated or bare stent was used and placed properly, a new drug-eluting stent might be used. In cases where scar tissue buildup is excessive, a bypass procedure might be considered.

When new stents are placed, patients must observe the same post-procedure drug therapy they used after their first angioplasty procedures. This includes taking low-dose aspirin or prescription antiplatelet medication during the healing period. These medications help prevent blood clots from forming in the new stent as new cardiac tissue grows around it. Some doctors recommend that patients take low-dose aspirin or other medications for the rest of their lives.

Although the rate of in-stent restenosis can be as high as 25 percent, according to some studies, when no stent is used, the rate is even higher. For this reason, most interventional cardiologists use stenting as standard practice during angioplasty and then follow patients closely. Patients who develop in-stent restenosis typically do so within six months of stent placement.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.