Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Americans today. But now researchers have come up with a way to evolve typical heart surgeries.
Fox news reports on the new strategy and device. Researchers have evolved the previous stent and created a new dissolving stent for heart arteries.
The new type of heart stent is said to work like dissolving stitches. The stent is designed to slowly go away after it has done its job.
The new tool has been doing well in its first test runs. Statistics show that there are around 850,000 heart disease patients in the United States every year.
Typical stents are small mesh cages that keep blood vessels from re-clogging after an angioplasty procedure. The point is to open one’s arteries.
What are the drawbacks of these?
The current ones are made of metal; these sometimes cause inflammation and other problems later.
The dissolving tool, the Absorb stent, is already used in Europe. It is made of a degradable material that is designed to stay intact. It releases medicine for a year and then it dissolves.
The study’s leader in the U.S., Dr. Kereiakes, said, “It holds the artery open long enough for the artery to heal. It can return the artery to its normal, natural structure and function.”
How was the study conducted? Researchers took around 2,000 participants. All of the patients had chest pain and one or two clogged arteries.
The study results showed those given the dissolving stent did just as well as those given the typically used stent. After about a year around 6 or 7 people in both groups died from heart problems or had a heart attack with the treated artery.
Critics of the new tool say that it does not do better long term than the traditional stent. They say the dissolving stent is attractive but that does not mean that we should rely on it.
Dr. Stone, of Columbia University Medical Center, commented on the results. He said, “The question is, what does it take to get it on the market? No one expected superiority in the first year. We expect the real benefits of this technology to be when it dissolves over several years.”
The study lasted a year but researchers will continue to watch the participants to see how well they do after the stent dissolves. Former studies show that the stent does indeed dissolve as is expected of it.
Many patients like the idea that the dissolving stent makes them feel like their body will heal itself and there will not be any metal left behind.