Peripheral Stents

What are peripheral stents?

A stent is a tiny mesh tube designed to prop open an artery or vein that’s been blocked by a build-up of fatty deposits. Stent placement often occurs during an angioplasty. Peripheral stents are tubular metal scaffolds that can be inserted into peripheral vessels (typically located in the legs or arms) to open narrowed or blocked arteries or veins. This results in improved blood flow through that vessel. A stent often contains a nitinol (a nickel and titanium alloy) base and may be drug-coated (drug-eluting), plain or covered with prosthetic material. In most cases, a balloon (from an angioplasty procedure) is used first to compress the blockage against the walls of the involved vessel so that the stent can open more easily and fully.

Patients diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, often require the insertion of a peripheral stent to restore normal blood flow to a particular blocked artery. PAD often affects the arteries in the legs, causing aneurysms (enlarged arteries or veins) in the thighs or behind the knees. Aneurysms behind the knees are called popliteal aneurysms.

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