A stent is a wire mesh stainless steel tube that holds an artery open and keeps it from closing again. It then safely becomes a permanent part of your artery to continue to work in keeping your arteries open and blood flowing freely to your heart.
Why is having a stent necessary?
Any clot in your heart or arteries can cause major heart distress. The stent opens the blockage and keeps it open, which allows blood to flow smoothly. Good blood flow reduces the risk of future clots forming.
How does the stent work?
Your doctor will insert a tiny, flexible plastic tube called a catheter through an artery. Your doctor will then move a balloon catheter, and then a stent, to where the blockage is located. The balloon is inflated and stretched wide against your artery walls, which opens the blockage. Then the balloon is deflated and taken out, leaving the stent in place.
Stenting is a fairly common procedure; in fact, over 70 percent of coronary angioplasty procedures also include stenting.