The interventional cardiology team at Northwest Texas Healthcare System recently became the first in Amarillo, Texas to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally dissolves over time.
Recently approved by FDA, the Absorb™ Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold opens clogged arteries to restore blood flow, then gradually dissolves in the body—reducing the risk of future blockages that can occur with metal stents.
Dr. Alan Chu of the Amarillo Heart Group treated a patient at Northwest Texas Healthcare System on July 27, 2016 with the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent. The Absorb stent is a major advancement 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.
While stents are traditionally made of metal, the Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. The Absorb stent 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.
*Absorb dissolves except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers that remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed.
Learn more about the Absorb dissolving heart stent >