Stenting is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to help keep arteries from narrowing after they have been opened during a balloon angioplasty. The procedure is used to treat carotid artery disease, renal vascular disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and other vascular conditions.
Stents are tiny sections of wire mesh tube, flexible and expandable, that fits inside an artery and reinforces its walls. Some stents are treated with a time-released drug that prevents the artery from becoming blocked or closed again.
Prior to stenting, a catheter – a thin, flexible tube – is inserted into an artery in the groin and threaded through the body to reach the blockage. A very small balloon at the catheter tip is inflated and the artery is reopened. The stent is then inserted through the catheter and put in place inside the artery. Stenting is a catheter-assisted procedure to treat vascular disease.