A stent is typically a small, metal wire mesh tube that is placed inside a blood vessel through a small catheter in order to prop up weak arteries. A doctor may also insert a stent to improve blood flow in a narrowed or blocked artery or prevent an artery from bursting.
- Carotid stents - used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries delivering blood to the brain. It is less invasive than a carotid endarterectomy and can be performed while the patient remains awake.
- Coronary stents - often placed during an angioplasty procedure to help open up narrowed or blocked arteries of the heart and keep them open.
- Drug-eluting stents - release medication over time to prevent the body from developing scar tissue and thus preventing further blockages.