Dissolving Heart Stent
Abbott Vascular has developed a new type of heart stent that dissolves through time once an artery has healed after an artery-opening angioplasty procedure. The stent, called "Absorb" is made out of a degradable material that stays intact and releases medicine for a year, then gradually dissolves in the following two years. After it completely dissolves, it restores the artery to its normal and natural structure and function. Absorb is already available in Europe, and they hope that the Food and Drug Administration will approve of its sale in the US. This is seen as a more natural way of healing since it doesn't leave any metal behind. Whether it will catch on with the public is still up in the air since Abbott hasn't disclosed the price of Absorb, only announcing that it will cost more than the traditional heart stent.
First Major Test
The study was administered to 2,000 patients suffering from chest pain due to one or two clogged arteries, and was done in a span of a year. The results show that Absorb fared just as well as the conventional stent. Study leader Dr. Gregg Stone of Columbia University Medical Center shared that superiority isn't expected in the first year, and the real benefits of Absorb are related to lower complication rates that can be only be determined years after the surgery.
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