AJ PHOTO / HOP AMERICAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AJ PHOTO / HOP AMERICAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coronary stent. Gloved hands of a surgeon holding a catheter (narrow wire) with a coronary stent (thickened area near tip) mounted on it. The stent is an expandable wire mesh tube, usually used to expand and strengthen narrowed coronary arteries in cases of coronary artery disease (a risk factor for a heart attack). The catheter is used to deliver the stent to the heart through the body arteries. The tip of the catheter is then inflated to expand the stent and fix it in place, widening and strengthening the artery. This procedure (both with and without the stent) is known as coronary angioplasty. This operation, on a 50-year-old man, is being carried out at the American Hospital of Paris, France.
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