Disappearing act: Nevada Heart and Vascular implants dissolving heart stent

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The Nevada Heart and Vascular Center in Las Vegas implanted a patient with the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent.

Approved July 5, 2016, Abbott’s Absorb bioresorbable stent is made of naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. The stent disappears completely in approximately three years. Traditional stents are made of metal, and while effective at keeping a clogged artery open, they restrict vessel motion for the rest of the patient’s life.

“No metal means the treated artery can pulse and flex naturally as demands on the heart change with everyday activities,” Gregg Stone, MD, director of cardiovascular research and education at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at the Columbia University Medical Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital said in a statement.

Metallic stents can also cause future blockages. Patients are placed on anti-clotting medications to prevent the vessel from re-closing. This allows easier access to other treatment options the patients may require

In clinical studies, Abbott’s bioresorbable stent demonstrated comparable short-term and mid-term outcomes to the leading metallic stent. In a group of approximately 2,000 U.S. patients, those who received the Absorb stent experienced similar rates of specific adverse events including heart disease-related death, heart attacks attributed to the stent artery and repeat procedures at the treated lesion.