A stent is a small mesh tube used to treat weak or plaque-filled arteries impeding your blood flow. Stents are used to support arteries throughout the body, including those in the limbs (peripheral artery disease) and neck (carotid artery disease).

What to expect during treatment

Stenting is often performed with angioplasty, a procedure that uses a balloon to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow. To place a stent, your vascular specialist will make a small opening in your groin, arm or neck. He or she will use a tiny tube (catheter) to guide specialized tools through your blood vessels to reach the artery that needs a stent. Using the necessary tools, your doctor will locate the broken or blocked vessel and install the stent.

Angioplasty with stent placement is a minimally invasive technique that takes about an hour, or longer if more than one artery requires a stent. Following the procedure, you’ll be taken to a recovery room for observation. Your movement will be limited at this time.

While stent placement is effective in addressing an individual blockage, you may need to make lifestyle changes to prevent further blockages.


  • Most patients stay overnight for observation and return for a follow-up examination.
  • You may feel a bit of soreness at the incision site. Mild painkillers can treat this.
  • Your doctor will probably prescribe anticoagulant medication to prevent clotting.