The device completely dissolves after two to three years leaving no trace compared to the metal stents that can pose complications over time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved of a dissolvable stent that can effectively be used in people with coronary diseases – currently affecting 15 million people in the United States.
The stent, named the Abbott Absorb, is made of dissolving material that slowly dissolves over time. It will replace the current metal stents used to open a patient’s blocked artery but with the added benefit of leaving no metal behind in the patient especially those who require multiple stents at a time. Made up of polyactic acid, Absorb metabolizes after two to three years through the process of hydrolysis and disappears.
Dr. Bezerra, who is Assistant Professor, Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and involved in the imaging core lab for Absorb studies around the world says, “The device restores vasomotor function and pulsatility allowing the artery to move and more naturally regulate blood flow. 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.”
Metal stents pose a problem and could cause a condition called restenosis where scar tissue forms within the device. With this new dissolving stent, the arteries and blood vessels have the ability to return to normal once the stent has completely disappeared.
“Absorb is a new, potentially game-changing therapy for coronary artery disease. 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 first Absorb dissolving stent has already been implanted into a patient suffering from coronary artery disease and will be an available treatment at 50 hospitals around the country.