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 is 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.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.