A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery permanently. An artery often becomes narrow due to a buildup of plaque, leading to reduced blood flow and chest pain. If a clot forms around the plaque buildup, the artery can become completely blocked and lead to a heart attack.
Heart stents are the solution to this problem, keeping arteries held open and reducing the risk of stroke. The process of placing a stent is called angioplasty, in which a catheter is inserted to place the stent in the heart, neck, or legs—wherever the clogged artery is.