stent is a small, expandable tube that can be inserted into a blood vessel and expanded
using a small balloon during a procedure called angioplasty. A stent is used to open
a narrowed or clotted blood vessel.
When the balloon inside the stent is inflated,
the stent expands and presses against the walls of the artery. This traps any fat
and calcium buildup against the walls of the artery and allows blood to flow through
the artery. The stent helps prevent the artery from closing again (restenosis). It
can also help prevent small pieces of plaque from breaking off and causing a heart
attack or stroke.
To insert the stent, a flexible, thin tube (catheter) is passed
through an artery in the groin or arm into the narrowed artery. Then the balloon inside
the stent is inflated.
Some stents, called drug-eluting stents, are coated with
a medicine to more effectively prevent restenosis.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology &
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
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