Image Caption : Stent in Left Coronary Artery : The heart shown in this image has had a stent placed in the left coronary artery. Stents are tiny coils of wire mesh used to open up blocked arteries in a medical procedure called an angioplasty. They are often inserted laparoscopically, feeding wires up to the coronary arteries through arteries elsewhere in the body that are more accessible, without having to open the patient's chest. Stents are specially engineered to fit various diameters of arteries, allowing an individualized fit. Once in place, the previously blocked artery is now equipped with a miniature scaffolding to hold it open and allow blood to easily flow through.
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 such a stent. There are a wide variety of stents used for different purposes, from expandable coronary, vascular and billiary 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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