he interventional cardiology team at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) recently became the first in the State of Florida, and one of the first in the country, to offer and deploy a new dissolvable stent for coronary artery disease that literally disappears over time. Recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold (stent) opens clogged arteries to restore blood flow, and then gradually dissolves in the body – reducing the risk of future blockages.
“Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Southern Medical Group and Tallahassee Research Institute collaborate regularly to bring new clinical cardiovascular research to our area,” said Patty Knap, RN, CCRC, Director of Research at Tallahassee Research Institute. “These three organizations were involved in two research trials around the Absorb stent, which helped pave the way for the new technology to be available for commercial use.”
TMH was selected as one of 11 facilities in the country to commercially offer this new technology.
“We were the sixth hospital in the country to place the Absorb stent, continuing our position as a leader in the Southeast, and indeed the nation, for exceptional heart care and research,” explained Wayne Batchelor, MD, MHS, FACC, FSCAI, Interventional Cardiologist at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and President of Tallahassee Research Institute. “The Absorb stent is a novel therapy for patients with coronary artery disease and one of the latest treatment options we are proud to offer our patients.”
Developed and manufactured by Abbott, the Absorb stent is made of naturally dissolving materials, similar to dissolving sutures or stitches. The stent dissolves in about three years, after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. To ensure optimal patient selection and implant technique, the interventional cardiology team underwent extensive training for this new device and participated in the pre-approval clinical trials. The Absorb stent is deployed in the same manor as a traditional stent – through an endovascular procedure performed in the cardiac catheterization lab.