Building a better stent

Wire tubes that prop open arteries continue to be refined.

Small metal cylinders called stents have helped revolutionize the treatment of heart disease. In an angioplasty procedure, a narrowed or blocked artery is opened with a balloon. A stent is then inserted to hold the artery open—all without the trauma of open-heart surgery.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »