A stent is a tiny, expandable metal coil that is inserted into an artery to help keep the artery from narrowing or closing again. Coronary stents are now almost universally used in percutaneous coronary intervention procedures, often following balloon angioplasty, which opens the narrowed artery and facilitates stent placement.
Once a stent has been placed, tissue will begin to form over it within a few days after the procedure. The stent will be completely covered by tissue within a month or so. It is necessary to take medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient), or ticagrelor (Brilinta), which decrease the “stickiness” of platelets (special blood cells that clump together to stop bleeding), in order to prevent blood clots from forming inside the stent.
If scar tissue does form inside the stent, a repeat procedure may be performed.Previous Page Last Review Date: August 14, 2019