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Renal Stent for Kidney Disease

Renal artery stenosis may be treated using angioplasty and stents. This is a minimally invasive procedure similar to stenting for heart disease. A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through a small incision over an artery in the groin. The catheter is guided through the arteries to the blocked area(s). Once in place, a special balloon attached to the catheter is inflated and deflated several times, pushing the plaque against the artery walls and widening the vessel. A tiny metal mesh tube called a stent is then placed in the narrowed artery to keep it open.

The renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys. Like other arteries, they are subject to plaque formation. Arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside, but sometimes they can become blocked with plaque. This process is called atherosclerosis , or hardening of the arteries. As more plaque builds up, the arteries narrow and stiffen. Eventually, if enough plaque builds up, blood flow to the kidneys may be reduced. The kidneys mistakenly respond as if blood pressure is low. As a result, they give off hormones that tell the body to retain salt and water. This causes blood pressure to rise (also called renovascular hypertension).

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