Intracranial stent placement is a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing a tiny wire mesh tube, called a stent, into a narrowed artery in the brain. It is most often used to treat brain aneurysms and cerebral artery stenosis, which is a narrowing of the arteries resulting from a build-up of plaque on the artery wall that reduces blood supply to the brain.
Once placed, the stent expands to open up the artery so that blood can again flow, and at the same time, prevent more narrowing of the artery.
Using angiography (a way to visualize the blood vessels), the surgeon inserts a catheter inserted (usually in the groin) and then threads it through the arteries and in either the arteries of the neck or brain depending on the location of the problem. In the same way, the stent is delivered to the treatment site following the same path as the catheter and is then placed. As it is positioned, it expands to conform to the inside contours of the artery wall. After placement, the catheter is removed and the stent stays in place.