Stents are more beneficial than bypass surgery because the former is less invasive, and patients who undergo stenting recover faster than those who undergo bypass surgery, according to Healthline. Generally, stents improve the patient's quality of life.
A stent is a medical instrument that is inserted into a narrow coronary artery to enhance blood flow, notes Healthline. It is suitable for patients with two or less blocked arteries. By contrast, bypass surgery is typically applicable to patients with more than two blocked arteries.
To insert a stent, a doctor first administers local anesthesia to prevent pain and cuts a small incision in the neck, arm or groin through which to insert a catheter, explains Healthline. He then runs a catheter fixed with a balloon on one end through the incision into the narrowed artery. The doctor inflates the balloon to stretch the artery, improving the blood flow. Deflating the balloon and pulling out the catheter completes the process. The stent remains in the body during the catheter withdrawal.
Though beneficial, stenting may be risky, as the patient may experience an allergic reaction to the material or medications applied during the procedure, states Healthline. The procedure may also cause bleeding and may damage the heart. Rarely, it may result in heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.