A 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
Some stents, called drug-eluting stents, are coated with a medicine to more effectively
Current as of: December 15, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
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