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 incision can be made in the groin area to reach the artery there. A catheter is guided through the groin artery into an area of the coronary artery which 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.
Update Date 8/12/2014
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.