What Is Vascular Stenting?

When arteries are blocked, or closed, blood flow is restricted and can cause major damage in the body. Most notably, if an artery has a blockage and it restricts blood flow to the heart, a heart attack can occur. Arteries can fill with a fatty substance called plaque that can create blockages that restricts blood flow, or the vascular walls can weaken and collapse. One of the most effective treatments options is angioplasty, which opens the artery using a tiny balloon. Vascular stenting is often used in tandem with angioplasty to keep the artery open after angioplasty.

Stents are usually made from a metal-mesh material that are placed inside the blocked artery. These small devices push the plaque to the outside of the artery wall and allow better blood flow, especially after angioplasty is performed to open the artery. Stents come in a variety of forms, including metal, drug-coated or dissolvable polylactide. The type used depends on the artery being treated and the patient’s health concerns. Drug-coated options offer the dual benefit of the stent and time-released drugs that help keep arteries open over a long period of time.

Stents are most commonly known for their use in coronary arteries to ensure the heart is not affected by narrowing or blocked arteries. Angioplasty and stents are used as an alternative to coronary artery bypass surgery. However, vascular stents can be used in many different areas of the body, including renal, kidney and intestinal arteries to stop damage to these other organs. When performed by an experienced vascular surgeon, stents can be used to treat many diseases by offering a long-term solution to opening arteries and improving blood flow.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Benvenisty, MD
1090 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
212-523-4706

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