Bill Clinton Treated For Clogged Artery : NPRIn the stent procedure, a long, thin tube called a catheter is fed through an incision in the groin all the way to the heart.
"In this procedure, there would be a balloon on the end of [the catheter]," Neel said. "They would take X-rays while they're doing this, inject dyes and determine whether ... [Clinton's] arteries were actually closing down, whether there was any significant damage to the heart and muscle.
"Since we're hearing that he had two stents put in one artery, there must have been some significant weakening in those arteries," Neel said.
Clinton, who served as president from 1993-2001, has been working in recent weeks to help relief efforts in Haiti. Since leaving office, he has maintained a busy schedule working on humanitarian projects through his foundation.
Clinton "will continue to focus on the work of his foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," Band said.
With bypass or angioplasty, patients often need another procedure years down the road because arteries often reclog.
His arteries were very clogged the first time, and a doctor said six years is about right to require another procedure. They insert stents that contain a drug to keep his arteries clear. Hopefully he recovers fully.
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Mr Clinton had a common and fairly routine procedure done. It is carried out in a cath lab, by an interventionalist MD and his team. A catheter is introduced, usually into a femoral artery, and threaded up into the superior vena cava, and dye is injected in order to visualize the coronary arteries, which supply the heart itself with oxygenated blood. If a blockage of a coronary artery is detected, then a stent is introduced and placed in order to unblock the occuded artery, and keep it unblocked. Most stents today are drug eluding ones, which emit medications designed to keep the stent from occluding down the road.
This usually involves an overnight stay in the hospital. This technology has become a staple in managing coronary artery disease.
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