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A stent is a tiny tube placed into an artery, vein, or other hollow structure in the body to hold it open. When a stent is placed into the body, the procedure is called stenting. Most stents are made of metal or plastic mesh-like material.

Stents are commonly used to treat the following conditions that result from blocked or damaged blood vessels:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Carotid artery disease

Other reasons to use stents include:

  • Keeping open a blocked or damaged ureter
  • Treating aneurysms
  • Keeping bile flowing in blocked bile ducts
  • Opening a blockage in the airways