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Is there a time when it is better to let a small artery close rather than be stented?
There is a diagonal branch off the left main coronary artery that a stent won't hold open because of how small it is. Is it true that it is better to let it close itself so that the blood will reroute itself and the pain that has been there for 2 years will go away?
submitted Denise from Pennsylvania on 6/29/2012
by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Patrick J. Cook, MD
Although it's possible, it's not the norm for an artery too small to harbor a stent to be the agent of two years' worth of ischemic chest pain. Assuming that that IS the case, depending on the size of the vessel and the status of the other coronary arteries, it is conceivable that one is better off having that artery close, even if it causes a small heart attack, if it results in relief of otherwise debilitating chest pain. Implicit in that statement, however, is that every other reasonable option is either not advisable or possible.
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Updated July 2012