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In October, 2015, a progressive new stent, a tiny but powerful tool to combat narrowed arteries, was approved for use by the FDA. In April of this year, Dr. Leon, Dr. Cannon and Dr. Zaeem of Memorial Medical Center (MMC) began treating their patients at MMC with the newly approved Everolimus- Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent from Boston Scientific. The doctors’ patients are the first in the southern New Mexico/ west Texas area to benefit from the new technology.
What is a stent?
A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube that props open an artery and is left there permanently, according to the American Heart Association website. When a coronary artery (an artery feeding the heart muscle) is narrowed by a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque, it can reduce blood flow. If blood flow is reduced to the heart muscle, chest pain can result. If a clot forms and completely blocks the blood flow to part of the heart muscle, a heart attack results. Stents help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of a heart attack
How are arteries opened?
The American Heart Association website states: To open a narrowed artery, a doctor may do a procedure called a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty. In it, a balloon-tipped tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery and moved to the point of blockage. Then the balloon is inflated. This compresses the plaque and opens the narrowed spot. When the opening in the vessel has been widened, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is withdrawn.
Stenting has become fairly common. Most angioplasty procedures are done using stents. Patients who have angioplasty and stents recover from these procedures much faster than patients who have coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). They have much less discomfort, too, according to the AHA website.
MMC Marketing Director Anita Rocket said, “It’s absolutely fascinating, isn’t it, that this can reduce the anti- rejection drugs from years to as short at 90 days? Amazing, frankly.”
“We are pleased to be working closely with these doctors and Memorial Medical Center to ensure patients can access this innovative technology,” said Kevin Ballinger, president, Interventional Cardiology, Boston Scientific. “In development for over 10 years, the SYNERGY Stent reflects our commitment to bringing meaningful change to interventional cardiologists with the most complete portfolio of clinical solutions to best treat their patients,” said Ballinger. “We are excited to bring this transformative technology to U.S. facilities that provide best-in-class patient care.” The SYNERGY Stent is being studied in more than 15,000 patients worldwide, and has documented
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF THE MAYO FOUNDATION FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
A stent is inserted into the clogged artery with a balloon catheter. The balloon is inflated and the stent expands and locks in place. This holds the artery open and allows blood to flow more freely.
outstanding safety and efficacy of the Bioabsorbable Polymer Everoliumus Eluting Platinum Chromium Stent.