A stent is a small metal mesh tube (sometimes fabric called ‘grafts’ for lager arteries) used to treat narrow or weak arteries. It is placed in an artery as part of a procedure called percutaneous (per-ku-TA-ne-us) coronary intervention (PCI), or coronary angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-plas-tee).
Whilst a PCI will restore blood flow the through narrow or blocked arteries, a stent helps support the inner wall of the artery.
Stents may also be placed in weak arteries to improve blood flow and help prevent the arteries from bursting.
Some stents are coated with medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery. These stents are called drug-eluting stents. The medicine helps prevent the artery from becoming blocked again.