Opening Lines: Implantable cardiovascular devices introduce new life-saving possibilities — and potential new risks.
Stents are expandable mesh-like tubular supports used to treat narrowed or obstructed vessels, including arteries, veins, and ducts. Stents are inserted via catheter-based procedures and are far less invasive than traditional surgeries. In people with coronary heart disease, coronary stents can open narrowed or blocked arteries that supply blood to the heart, reduce symptoms such as chest pain, and help treat a heart attack. Peripheral stents can open constricted vessels throughout the body, including the brain. Medical device designers have also created stent-like structures that support valves or graft material that can help replace heart valves or block aneurysms much less invasively. Read more.