A stent is any material that is used to hold tissue in place.
A stent is often used to support tissues while healing takes place. A stent can keep “tube-shaped” structures such as blood vessels or ureters (the tubes that drain the kidney) open after a surgical procedure.
An intraluminal coronary artery stent is a small, self-expanding, stainless steel mesh tube that is placed within a coronary artery to keep the vessel open. It may be used during a coronary artery bypass graft surgery to keep the grafted vessel open, after balloon Angioplasty to prevent reclosure of the blood vessel, or during other heart surgeries.
There are many uses for stents. A few include:
- Creating an AV fistula (a procedure that creates access to the blood for Hemodialysis)
- Reattaching the intestines after a temporary colostomy
- Keeping the ureters open after surgery to repair a blocked ureter
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.
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