Viagra May Be Helpful in Surgery Using Stents

Researchers say the erectile drug might be useful in preventing side effects during and after stent surgery for heart problems.

Even after 20 years, Viagra is still giving people something to get excited about.

It appears the erectile drug could also be a valuable asset during stent surgery, according to research presented last week at the American Heart Association Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2017 Scientific Sessions.

Stents are a powerful tool in the fight against heart disease, but they have a complex history and have had unintended side effects.

These include restenosis (re-narrowing of the artery) and thrombosis (blood clots).

Viagra, also known as sildenafil, could potentially supplement the current drug regimen used during and after stent surgery.

This includes blood thinners such as heparin and dual antiplatelet therapy, which utilizes aspirin and a second antiplatelet medication, such as Plavix.

“Sildenafil-coated stents could show more benefit in reducing stent thrombosis than other drug-eluting stents,” said Dr. Han-Mo Yang, a lead study author and an associate professor in the division of cardiology at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea.

How stents work

A stent is a small metal or plastic mesh tube that is inserted permanently into the coronary arteries of some heart disease patients.

Stents help to improve blood flow and reduce the chance of heart attack.

Stents do this by increasing blood flow in arteries that have become narrower or occluded by sclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits called plaque.

The precursor of modern stents is the balloon angioplasty procedure (first performed in 1977), in which a deflated balloon attached to a catheter is inserted into a narrowed artery.

When the balloon is inflated, the plaque is pushed against the artery walls, increasing blood flow.

But, the procedure has proved to be somewhat ineffective in…

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