Northside is first in Atlanta to offer naturally dissolving heart stent to patients with coronary artery disease

Posted on: October 11, 2016


First-of-its-kind fully dissolving heart stent opens clogged arteries to restore blood flow and then gradually dissolves in the body, reducing the risk of future blockages that can occur with metal stents

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.”

The Northside Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute offers a wide range of diagnostic, treatment and support services – encompassing the entire continuum of care for the heart and vascular patient. The hospital has been recognized by some of the nation’s leading health care organizations for providing safe, high-quality, compassionate care for their patients including The Joint Commission, the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline and Get With The Guidelines programs, and others. A team of board-certified cardiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiac-trained nurses and technologists at Northside has the highest level of expertise in diagnosing and treating disorders like coronary artery blockages, congenital heart defects, heart failure and stroke.

Read more about the Northside Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute.

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