The interventional cardiology team at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital recently became the first in Oklahoma to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally disappears over time.
Dr. George Chrysant, interventional cardiologist at INTEGRIS Heart Hospital, implanted a patient July 14, 2016 with the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent. The Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold is a major advance in the treatment of coronary artery disease, which affects 15 million people in the United States and remains a leading cause of death worldwide despite decades of therapeutic advances.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, Abbott’s Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. Absorb disappears completely in about 3 years, after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.
How it Works
- Absorb is placed in the artery to remove the blockage and restore blood flow to the heart.
- For the first few months, the treated segment of the artery needs the stent to stay open.
- The stent slowing dissolves in approximately 3 years. By this time, the treated segment of the artery can stay open on its own.
- As the stent dissolves, new cells replace it. The artery can once again move and flex naturally.
How is it Different from Metal Stents
- The use of stents has been shown to be important during the first 3 months after a blocked artery has been opened. After that, the artery can remain open on its own. The dissolving stent, or bioresorbable stent, dissolves naturally, leaving nothing behind but a natural vessel.
- The best way to understand is considering how a cast treats a broken bone. The cast provides structure and support until the bone is healthy again, then it is removed. In the same way, Absorb supports the artery to restore blood flow and then it dissolves. The treated part of the artery no longer needs support to stay open.
To ensure optimal patient selection and implant technique, INTEGRIS Heart Hospital’s interventional cardiology team underwent extensive training on the new device.