Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a disease affecting the arteries that surround the heart and supply blood to the heart muscle. CAD occurs when the vessels that deliver blood to your heart are narrowed or blocked. The most common cause of CAD is arteriosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries.

The coronary arteries can become narrowed when plaque (a combination of cholesterol and other fats, calcium and certain other elements carried in the blood) builds up on the inside of the artery walls. When plaque builds up and narrows the arteries, less blood, and therefore less oxygen and other nutrients, reaches the heart muscle. This can lead to chest pain (angina pectoris) or to a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

To help treat this heart problem, your doctor may want you to consider a coronary stent implant. 

What is a stent?

A stent is a small metal coil or mesh tube that is placed in a narrow artery through a long, thin tube called a catheter, in order to help improve blood flow to your heart. The stent permanently holds the passageway open and helps reduce the rate of restenosis, or re-narrowing of the artery. After the stent placement, you may need to stay in the hospital for one to five days.