A combination of physician groups, including the American Heart Association, American Dental Association, American College of Cardiology, American College of Surgeons, Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, has issued a new advisory that heart patients with drug-coated stents should stay on anti-clotting drugs for at least one year. Stents are used to prop open arteries. Drug-coated stents release medication that help prevent reclogging of the arteries, but they carry an increased risk of blood clotting. In light of the new information about drug-coated stents, before the stent surgery, doctors should talk to patients about the recommended post-surgery drug therapy. A bare metal stent, rather than a drug-coated stent, may be preferable if a patient will not be able to continue the anti-clotting drugs for at least one year.
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