Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Carotid angioplasty with stenting is a minimally invasive procedure in which a very small hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin to the carotid arteries. Once the catheter is in place, a balloon may be inflated to open the artery and a stent is placed.
A stent is a cylinder-like tube made of thin metal-mesh framework used to hold the artery open. Because there is a risk of stroke from bits of plaque breaking off during the procedure, an apparatus, called an embolic protection device, may be used.
An embolic protection device is a filter (like a small basket) that is attached on a guidewire to catch any debris that may break off during the procedure. While this procedure is performed widely, the long-term effects are still being studied.