A stent is a small metal tube or coil used to hold a narrowed artery open. Your healthcare provider places the stent by performing an atherectomy or angioplasty, which compress or remove plaque found in the artery. In some cases, the stent is placed during a balloon angioplasty. The procedure follows these steps:
- An expandable balloon catheter and stent are placed inside a narrowed artery.
- The balloon is expanded.
- The balloon deflated and removed. The stent stays behind and is left to open the artery and maintain healthy blood flow.