BSIP, JOUBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, JOUBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arterial stent. Computer illustration showing a stent (wire mesh) being positioned in a narrowed artery. The wire-like catheter has been inserted into the artery and moved to the site of the constriction. Here, a balloon is being inflated, in order to expand the stent so that it will hold the artery open after the balloon has been deflated and the catheter removed. This procedure is known as balloon angioplasty. The most common cause of arterial narrowing is atherosclerosis, the deposition of fatty plaques of atheroma on the inner wall of an artery.
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