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Saint Vincent Hospital implants first-of-its-kind naturally dissolving heart stent

Jan 5, 2017

Saint Vincent Hospital implants first-of-its-kind naturally dissolving heart stent in patient with coronary artery disease

 Recently approved by FDA, Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold opens clogged arteries to restore blood flow, then gradually dissolves in the bodyreducing the risk of future blockages that can occur with metal stents

Worcester, MA January 5, 2017- The interventional cardiology team at Saint Vincent Hospital recently became the first hospital in Central Massachusetts to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally disappears over time.

Dr. Joseph Hannan, Director of Interventional Cardiology, implanted a patient 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, except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers that remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed. 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.

“The bioresorbable vascular scaffold offers yet another treatment option in select patients who are undergoing coronary artery stent implantation,” Dr. Hannan explained. “The theoretical advantage of a resorbable stent may make this a favorable treatment option for some.”

To ensure optimal patient selection and implant technique, Saint Vincent Hospital’s interventional cardiology team underwent extensive training on the new device.

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