Ramon Raneses, Jr., MD was the first to implant a patient with the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent at Genesys Regional Medical Center. He was shortly followed by Charlotte Ng, MD who implanted the second. The Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold is a major advance 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, Abbott’s Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. Absorb disappears completely in about 3 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 is a first-of-its-kind innovation, made of material similar to dissolving sutures, that treats coronary artery disease and then dissolves completely and naturally once it has done its job. Absorb was developed and is manufactured by global healthcare company Abbott. Abbott also developed the top-selling drug eluting metallic stent called Xience. Patients don't need a permanent implant to treat a temporary problem.
After a blockage in a blood vessel is cleared, it only needs support for a matter of months until the vessel heals and can stay open on its own. After that, the metallic stent serves no additional purpose, and can, in fact, be a hindrance. Just like a cast isn't needed after a broken bone heals, Absorb treats the diseased artery until it heals, then Absorb gradually dissolves over time, leaving a healed artery that can flex and pulse naturally.
The only device of its kind, Abbott's Absorb has a number of unique benefits for patient. Absorb offers immediate relief from CAD symptoms like a traditional metal stent with the added long-term benefit of dissolving completely in approximately three years. Benefits after Absorb dissolves include:
• Allows the artery to pulse and flex naturally
• Reduces the risk of future blockages that occur with metallic stents
• Makes it easier for doctors to offer additional interventions in the future if necessary
Absorb represents a major advance in the interventional treatment of coronary artery disease: following balloon angioplasty in the 1970s, bare-metal stents in the 1980s, and drug-eluting stents in the 2000s.