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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Stent

Definition

A stent is a tiny tube placed into a hollow structure in your body. This structure can be an artery, a vein, or another structure such as the tube that carries urine (ureter). The stent holds the structure open.

Coronary artery stent

Alternative Names

Drug-eluting stents; Urinary or ureteral stents; Coronary stents

Description

When a stent is placed into the body, the procedure is called stenting. There are different kinds of stents. Most are made of a metal or plastic mesh-like material. However, stent grafts are made of fabric. They are used in larger arteries.

A coronary artery stent is a small, self-expanding, metal mesh tube. It is placed inside a coronary artery after balloon angioplasty. This stent prevents the artery from re-closing.

A drug-eluting stent is coated with a medicine. This medicine helps further prevent the arteries from re-closing. Like other coronary artery stents, it is left permanently in the artery.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Most of the time, stents are used when arteries become narrow or blocked.

Stents are commonly used to treat the following conditions that result from blocked or damaged blood vessels:

Other reasons to use stents include:

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Coronary artery stentCoronary artery balloon angioplasty - Series

References

Harunarashid H. Vascular and endovascular surgery. In: Garden OJ, Parks RW, eds. Principles and Practice of Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 21.

Teirstein PS, Lytle BW. Interventional and surgical treatment of coronary artery disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 74.

White CJ. Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 79.

Zeidel ML. Obstructive uropathy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 123.