Performed in the same way as a cardiac catheterization described above, this is a procedure by which a blockage in an artery supplying the heart can be opened up. This is done by the use of various catheters, wires, and small inflatable balloons that are delivered to the heart through tubes inserted into the artery of the leg or the wrist. A stent is a small metal tube that provides scaffolding to the area that is blocked to help restore blood flow. A stent usually requires one year of special blood thinners to help the stent heal.