Genesys Heart Institute interventional cardiologists now are using a new, FDA-approved fully dissolving stent option for patients with coronary artery disease. This new stent represents a major advancement in the interventional treatment of heart disease.
Genesys is the first hospital in the region and one of only 50 hospitals in the entire country to offer the Absorb bioabsorbable stent for heart patients. Through a minmally invasive procedure in the cardiac catheterization lab at Genesys, interventional cardiologists can use the new stent to open clogged arteries and restore blood flow.
After a few months, the stent will begin to dissolve gradually, and after two to three years, it will dissolve completely once the vessel heals, and can stay open on its own. By contrast, metal stents, which traditionally have been used in cath labs to open blocked arteries, are permanent implants. They serve no additional purpose once the artery is open and healed, and occasionally may result in future blockages.
“This stent is made of naturally dissolving material that gradually disappears over time,” reports Frank Tilli, MD, FACC, FSCAI, director of Interventional Cardiology for Genesys Heart Institute, who is one of several interventional cardiologists at Genesys who received extensive training to conduct the new procedure.
The treated artery can pulse and flex naturally on its own as demands on the heart change with everyday activities. It is designed to offer the artery the benefits of a traditional stent without some of the possible long-term concerns connected with a small percentage of metal stents. “If additional interventions are required in the future, it is easier for physicians to work on arteries that don’t have metal stents,” Dr. Tilli notes.
According to Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of the new dissolving stent, Absorb is the only commercially available, fully dissolving stent in the world for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Extensive clinical trials conducted throughout the world have demonstrated the effectiveness of the Abbott dissolving stent. The device does not replace all metal stents. The best option for some patients may be a metal stent, depending on the type of blockage the interventional cardiologist identifies, notes Dr. Tilli.
In addition to Genesys, two other Ascension Michigan hospitals now offer the new stent: St. John Providence in the Detroit area and Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. Coronary artery disease affects some 15 million Americans and remains a leading cause of death worldwide. The dissolvable stent is one more treatment option available through Genesys Heart Institute to help patients.
Offering the latest innovations in heart treatments, Genesys once again allows the community to receive the care they need in a close-to-home location. Genesys is the only hospital in the entire state to provide the convergent heart procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. This minimally invasive procedure gives help and hope to patients who previously were left with no options.
Genesys also offers a heart procedure called TAVR, another minimally invasive treatment for people who are at a high risk for open heart surgery but need medical intervention to stay alive. These are just two of many treatment options available through the Genesys Heart Institute. For more information on the Abbott dissolvable stent or other treatments offered at the Genesys Heart Institute, call 810.606.7550.