Stents News

A stent is a medical device implanted in an artery as part of a medical procedure. It’s a small, wire mesh tube that can serve several purposes. If an artery is narrowed or blocked to the point that blood flow is disrupted, the stent can open the artery and help to restore flow. Also, if an artery is weak and might potentially burst, the stent can help to strengthen it. The medical procedure to insert a stent is known as an angioplasty.

More About Angioplasty

An angioplasty is performed with a medical instrument known as a catheter. This is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into an opening in a blood vessel and threaded to the site where the stent is needed. The movement of the catheter is guided by X-rays.

At the end of the catheter, the stent is placed around a deflated balloon. Once it’s in position, the balloon is inflated. This opens up the artery, as well as the stent, and pushes the stent into position in the artery . Stents do have the possibility of closing again once put in place, but the newest stents have a medicinal coating on them that helps to prevent this. These are known as drug-eluting stents.

Advantages of Stents

In some cases, a balloon angioplasty is done without the insertion of a stent, but performing the procedure with the stent seems to reduce the risk of the artery re-narrowing after the procedure. In addition, a procedure involving a stent is much less invasive and offers a shorter recovery time than alternative procedures like coronary artery bypass surgery. It’s also a more comfortable procedure while it’s being performed and during the recovery process.


SOURCES: U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; American Heart Association

Date Posted
Article Title
Viagra Might Make for a Safer, More Effective Stent

In animal study, coating the artery-opening devices with the drug kept vessels clear longer

Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

FDA offers glossary of terms to help you understand your doctor's advice

Stent Patients Face Higher Risk of Death After Bleeding, Clots

Prolonged treatment to prevent clots may increase bleeding risk in some patients, researchers warn

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Study finds close adherence to instructions may be especially important after angioplasty

Drug-Coated Stents Don't Improve Patient Survival, Large Study Reports

But, the pricier devices do lead to fewer repeat heart procedures

Doctors Report on Success of Throat Reconstruction

Seven years after receiving metal stents, donated skin tissue, patient can swallow and eat normal food

Surgery, Stents Equally Effective for Opening Neck Arteries: Study

Both procedures reduce risk of stroke due to narrowed arteries, researchers find

Stenting Outcomes Vary Widely Among U.S. Hospitals

Stroke, death more common at some centers than others

Stents Meant to Prevent Stroke May Actually Boost Risk

Use of blood thinners appears safer for narrowed brain arteries, experts say

Implanted Device May Improve Hard-to-Treat Chest Pain

Small trial shows Reducer brings relief to those with refractory angina

Neck Artery Stents May Not Be Worthwhile in 'Real World' Setting

Study found a third of older patients died within two years of procedure

Stent Treatment May Lower Stroke Disability

Treatment must be given within 6 hours after a stroke starts, researchers say

Deaths From Heart Disease Drop Quickly After Stent Procedure: Study

But experts say treatment should also focus on possible noncardiac causes of death

Many Delay Blood Thinners After Stent Placement, Risking Death

Going 3 days without Plavix triples odds of heart attack within a month, researchers say

Transfusions Risky During Certain Heart Procedures, Study Finds

Angioplasty patients run the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death, researchers say

Dissolving 'Scaffolds' Could Help Treat Leg Artery Disease

But more research is needed before they can replace stents

Stenting of Neck Arteries Tied to Higher Stroke Risk in Seniors

Evidence review comparing stent placement to procedure called endarterectomy found mixed results

Bypass May Beat Angioplasty for Diabetics With Heart Disease

Study found higher quality of life after bypass than with less-invasive angioplasty

Study Tallies Risk of Noncardiac Surgery After Heart Stent Placement

Those at highest odds for new heart attack, stroke include people with advanced disease

Former President Bush Home After Heart Surgery

Stent procedure was successful after artery blockage found during his annual physical

Former President George W. Bush Gets Heart Stent

Procedure successful after artery blockage found during his annual physical

Major Bleeds After Heart Procedures May Raise Death Risk: Study

But strategies exist to modify this risk, researchers say

Skipping Aspirin Before Artery Procedure May Boost Death Rates

Recommended pre-op therapy neglected in 7 percent of angioplasty patients, study finds

'Clot-Buster' Drug May Still Be Best Stroke Treatment

Italian study found tPA as good as invasive procedures that go into artery to retrieve, destroy clots

Heart Attack Patients Do Better if They Had Chest Pain First

Study found this holds true even with latest cardiac procedures

New Guidelines Seek to Streamline Care for Worst Heart Attacks

Time is of the essence to avoid brain damage and save lives, experts say

Bypass Beats Stents for Diabetic Heart Patients: Study

5-year rates of death, heart attack higher for patients who underwent stenting, research shows

Nationwide Study Examines Common Heart Procedures

Patients undergoing angioplasty, stent placement more likely to be overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure

State Regulations Tied to Drop in Common Heart Procedure

Critics worry that the push for good outcomes may reduce access to care for sickest patients

Early Stenting Best for Some Heart Patients: Study

Those who started on drug therapy alone were more likely to later need urgent stent placement

Newer Drug-Releasing Stent Cuts Chances of Cardiac Events: Study

One releasing biolimus showed better outcomes than bare metal stents

Expensive, Drug-Emitting Stents May Be Overused: Study

More selective use of devices that keep arteries open could save U.S. $200 million a year

Are Post-Angioplasty Stress Tests Unnecessary?

Study finds no benefits in terms of outcomes from these expensive tests

Angioplasty May Be Risky for Those With Poor Leg Circulation

Procedure to open heart arteries linked to raised death rate in people with peripheral artery disease

Dissolvable Heart Artery Stents Appear Safe in Study

Biodegradable stents might lower risk of heart attack, Japanese researchers suggest

First Bedside Gene Test Shows Promise

Study found it spotted which heart patients should not take blood thinner Plavix

Depression Tied to Earlier Death in Heart Patients

Study found a greater risk of death within 7 years of receiving stent implant

Stents No Better Than Medicine for Stable Heart Disease, Study Says

Three-quarters of the costly procedures may be unneeded, researcher reports

Stenting, Surgery Appear Comparable for Opening Neck Artery

Re-blockage rates similar for both procedures, study finds

Lengthy Hospital Transfers May Hamper Heart Attack Care

Recommended time is seldom met in switching patients to angioplasty or stent facility, study finds

Drug-Coated Balloons Open Arteries Blocked by Narrowed Stents

Procedure keeps stents open, reduces bleeding in high-risk patients, researchers say

Heart Stress Test Likelier When Doctor Owns Equipment: Study

But unnecessary procedures might have dropped with recent guidelines, expert said

Genes Could Highlight Plavix Users at Clot Risk After Stent

Three gene types in heart patients and certain medications affected risk of dangerous clots

Overnight Stay May Not Be Necessary for Stenting: Study

Researchers say doing artery-opening procedure on outpatient basis saves money, is just as safe