A new stent has just been approved by the government the dissolves a few years after opening up the artery.
The feds have just signed off on a groundbreaking new treatment of cardiovascular disease that could be huge for the millions of sufferers here in the United States at risk of dying from the condition.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved of a coronary stent that slowly dissolves over time, disappearing like a biodegradable suture or a bone screw, and it could be used soon in people with cardiovascular disease, according to a University Hospitals Case Medical Center statement.
Called the Abbott Absorb stent, it works just like traditional metallic devices by opening a blocked coronary artery, but it dissolves two or three years after it is implanted.
Conventional stenting itself has been a tremendous boon to the medical community in recent decades, saving untold lives, but this treatment goes a step further.
More than 500,000 conventional stents get implanted every single year.
The problem with metal stents is that scar tissue would form within the device, causing a condition called restenosis. Drug-eluting metal stents revealed that condition, but some flexibility is lost in the blood vessels. This new treatment could vanish from the site of the implantation, returning things almost back to normal.
“Absorb is a new, potentially game-changing therapy for coronary artery disease,” Dr. Hiram Bezerra, Medical Director, Cardiovascular Imaging Core Laboratory – UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, said in the statement. “While it may never totally replace traditional DES, this novel technology gives us the ability to repair a patient’s artery with comparable healing and safety and reduces long-term complications.
“The device restores vasomotor function and pulsatility allowing the artery to move and more naturally regulate blood flow,” he added. “It also avoids the long-term future complications related to metallic stents, such as inability to graft to a fully stented artery in the event that a patient needs coronary artery bypass grafting.”