A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that is placed inside a coronary artery to help keep the artery open. To place the stent, a small sheath (plastic tube) is placed in the groin or wrist artery. A catheter is guided through the artery into the part of the coronary artery that is blocked. The stent is inserted along with a balloon catheter and expands when the balloon is inflated. The stent is then left there to help keep the artery open.
Review Date 5/16/2018
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.