July 19, 2016 — Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, is the first hospital on the West Coast to offer patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) Abbott's Absorb dissolving heart stent. Absorb is a drug-eluting coronary stent that dissolves, completely and naturally, in the body over time.
The stent treats coronary artery disease in a similar fashion to a metallic stent, propping the diseased vessel open to restore blood flow, but then disappears after the artery is healed, leaving no metal behind to restrict natural vessel motion.
Steven Burstein, M.D., interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory at Good Samaritan Hospital, was the first on the West Coast to implant the Absorb stent to patient Ernest Matson, 69, a retired microbiology professor at the University of Guam, on July 11th.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, CAD is the most common type of heart disease. CAD is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of plaque. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other deposits that accumulate on the inner wall of the artery. Over time, the plaque hardens and narrows the coronary arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Areas of plaque can also rupture, causing a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. When blood flow to the heart is reduced or blocked, angina (chest pain) or a heart attack can occur.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, the Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material similar to dissolving sutures. Absorb disappears completely in about three 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.
"With outcomes equivalent to those of the best drug-eluting metallic stents, the Absorb scaffolding will dissolve within 18 to 24 months leaving behind a normal and natural vessel," said Burstein. "This will not preclude further stenting or bypass surgery and may in fact make these future procedures, if indicated, easier to perform."
For more information: www.abbottvascular.com