The main purpose of a stent is to counteract significant decreases in vessel or duct diameter by acutely propping open the conduit by a mechanical scaffold or stent. Stents are often used to alleviate diminished blood flow to organs and extremities beyond an obstruction in order to maintain an adequate delivery of oxygenated blood. Although the most common use of stents is in coronary arteries, they are widely used in other natural body conduits, such as central and peripheral arteries and veins, bile ducts, esophagus, colon, trachea or large bronchi, ureters, and urethra.(Wikipedia)
Most of the time, stents are used to treat conditions that result when arteries become narrow or blocked. The devices are also used to unblock and keep open other tube-shaped structures in the body, including the ureters (the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and bronchi (the small windpipes in the lungs).
Stents are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease (CHD). If you have coronary artery disease that does not cause symptoms, you can be treated with either medicine or angioplasty with stenting. Recent studies show that medicine and angioplasty with stenting have equal benefits. Angioplasty with stenting does not help you live longer, but it can reduce angina or other symptoms of coronary artery disease.
Angioplasty with stenting, however, can be a life-saving procedure if you are having a heart attack
Other reasons to use stents include:
* Keeping open a blocked or damage ureter
* Treatment of aneurysms, including thoracic aortic aneurysms
* Unblocking a large artery, such as the carotid artery (carotid endarterectomy)
* To keep bile flowing in blocked bile ducts (biliary stricture)
* Helping you breathe if you have a blockage in the airways