The Northside Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute is the first in Atlanta to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally disappears over time.
Abbott’s Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold is the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent. It 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.
“This is clearly the next era of interventional cardiology, a biological solution, rather than a mechanical one,” says Dr. Jack Chen, interventional cardiologist with Northside Heart.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, the new stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. It 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.
“The bio absorbable scaffolds can potentially make future treatment options easier if the patient needs additional stents or bypass surgery,” explains Dr. Marcus Brown, interventional cardiologist and cardiology section chief at Northside.
Dr. Khalid Shash, interventional cardiologist, implanted the first dissolving stent, Oct. 11, at Northside Hospital’s Atlanta campus.
“After a blockage in a blood vessel is cleared, it only needs support for a matter of months until the vessel heals and can stay open on its own,” said Dr. Shash. “After that, the metallic stent serves no additional purpose, and can, in fact, be a hindrance. The Absorb stent gradually dissolves over time, leaving a healed artery that can flex and pulse naturally.”
“We are pleased to add the Absorb stent to our comprehensive services,” says Patricia Tyson, director, Northside Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute. “The addition of this new tool, combined with the expertise of our heart and vascular team, will help Northside continue to offer patients the best care possible using the most innovative technology available.”