An artery gets blocked when cholesterol and fatty deposits called plague build up on the inner walls of your coronary arteries.
Blocked arteries are not good because to work properly, the heart needs a continuous supply of blood. Otherwise, it can become starved of oxygen and vital nutrients.
And if you end up with a complete blockage, this can cause you to have a heart attack.
Now stents are often used to treat coronary artery disease. They’re a tiny wire mesh in the shape of a tube and they’re inserted into narrow or blocked arteries along with a balloon catheter. The balloon inflates, the stent expands and gets locks in place. This allows blood to flow more easily as the stent is now holding the artery open.
And stents can really help reduce damage to your heart and lower your chance of heart failure.
Stent technology has really come a long way over the last two decades. So not only are they much easier to insert, they also cause fewer side effects and complications.
But just like any surgical procedure, there are also risks. With stents, you need to watch out for things like blood clots, bleeding, infections, an allergic reaction to medications, materials or dyes used and re-narrowing of the artery.
Also, stents are not a cure. Bernie will likely need to make some lifestyle changes.
When you have coronary artery disease, it’s important to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, eat healthy foods, exercise and manage stress.
But Bernie will likely be able to get back to campaigning again soon – once his doctor gives him the green light. For most people, they’re able to return to work about a week later.