How the stent works:
(A) In the coronary artery that is filled with plaque, a Palmaz Stent, mounted on a balloon, is placed in the area of focal stenosis or coronary artery blockage.Return to story
(B) The balloon is inflated, increasing the diamond-shaped wall of the stent to three times its normal size. The mesh structure impacts against the dilated plaque, displacing the plaque against the artery wall.
(C) Once the deflated balloon is withdrawn, the stent creates a scaffold and the overall diameter of the artery is maintained. Without the stent the artery could collapse (post angioplasty elastic recoil) to its original diameter.
Prior to the invention of the Palmaz Stent, blockage recurred in approximately 40 percent of patients who underwent the angioplasty procedure.
Medical illustration by Nick Lang