Image Caption : Stent in Coronary Artery : In angioplasty with stent placement, the blocked artery is widened by inflating a balloon inside of it. The balloon is removed and a tiny metal coil called a stent is left in place to keep it open.
What Is a Stent?
A stent is a small mesh tube that's used to treat narrow or weak arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart to other parts of your body.
A stent is placed in an artery as part of a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty. PCI restores blood flow through narrow or blocked arteries. A stent helps support the inner wall of the artery in the months or years after PCI.
Doctors also may place stents in weak arteries to improve blood flow and help prevent the arteries from bursting.
Stents usually are made of metal mesh, but sometimes they're made of fabric. Fabric stents, also called stent grafts, are used in larger arteries.
Some stents are coated with medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery. These stents are called drug-eluting stents. The medicine helps prevent the artery from becoming blocked again.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute / NIH
You have angioplasty in a hospital. The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. The tube has a tiny balloon on the end. When the tube is in place, the doctor inflates the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.
Doctors may use angioplasty to
- Reduce chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
- Minimize damage to heart muscle from a heart attack
Many people go home the day after angioplasty, and are able to return to work within a week of coming home.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
In medicine, a stent is a tube or other device placed in the body to create a passage between two hollow spaces, and stenting is the placement of a stent. There is a wide variety of stents used for different purposes, from expandable coronary, vascular and biliary stents, to simple plastic stents used to allow the flow of urine between kidney and bladder. Stent is also used as a verb to describe the placement of such a device, particularly when a disease such as atherosclerosis has pathologically narrowed a structure such as an artery.
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