An endovascular stent formed of stainless steel wire of 0.018 inches diameter and arranged in a closed zig-zag pattern. The stent is compressed into a reduced size shape of an outer diameter which is many times smaller than its expanded shape. The stent is positioned in a passageway in the vascular system by means of a sheath while the stent is retained in the compressed reduced size shape. A flat-ended catheter is used through the sheath to hold the stent in place in the passageway while the sheath is withdrawn from the passageway allowing the stent to expand in the passageway into its expanded shape to hold the passageway open and enlarged. Other possible applications of the stent are in the respiratory, biliary and urinary tracts to reinforce collapsing structures.