New heart stent dissolves in 2 years

Amazing new treatment for heart valve stents
Published: Feb. 17, 2017 at 2:09 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2017 at 3:51 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For the estimated 13 million Americans with blood vessels that are blocked, there is a new option to open up those clogged vessels without surgery.

Instead of the wire mesh stent that has been used to prop open an artery and allow for better blood flow, doctors at the Texas Tech Physician Center for Cardiovascular Health are now using a new kind of stent, manufactured by Abbott, that dissolves after the work is done.

Cardiologist Dr. Mac Ansari says this new kind of stent is revolutionary.

First, he explains what we should understand this about the traditional stent: "The metal stent would stay there for life and the issue was it would get clogged up again."

But now, he says a new kind of stent that dissolves provides a much better option.

He explains, "We are the first to bring it to the area. The stent will treat the vessel, open up the vessel, make sure the blood flow is there, save the heart. Then, on its own in two years, it is absorbed by the body, leaving nothing behind but just your original vessel. So if I put two stents in you today, treating a heart attack, after two years, you're going to see you have no stents left."

Dr. Ansari says some patients are fearful about a surgery that will leave metal in the body. So, for that reason alone, this procedure should be more comforting to patients.

He says, "You really save somebody's life and you leave no metal behind."

So, what are the symptoms that would take someone in for a stent to open up a clogged artery?

Dr. Ansari says the list is long: chest pain, shortness of breath, people with diabetes, hypertension, smoking history, or a family history of heart attacks.

But overall, Dr. Ansari says his best advice is, "When you have chest pain, take it seriously and get it checked out."

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