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Spire Shawfair Park treats first patient in Scotland with "Dissolving" Heart Device

05 July 2013

This implantable device opens blocked vessel and restores blood flow to the heart similar to traditional metallic stents. However, unlike metallic stents, the device, known as ‘Absorb’ is made from a natural material designed to provide support to the vessel until the device dissolves, leaving patients with a treated vessel free of a permanent implant, which can result in long-term benefits. Consultant Cardiologist, Dr James Spratt treated the patient with the Absorb device.

"Absorb is a significant advance in the treatment of coronary artery disease, and we are excited to be able to bring this innovative new technology to our patients," said Dr Spratt at Spire Shawfair Park Hospital. "Unlike metallic stents that remain permanently in the body, Absorb dissolves away after doing its job, leaving patients with an artery that can move, flex, pulsate and dilate similar to a natural vessel. With more than 270,000 patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease in Scotland, a new therapy like Absorb provides a number of key advantages in treating this devastating disease."  

The long-term benefits of a scaffold that dissolves and restores the vessel to a more natural state are significant: the vessel can expand and contract; treatment and diagnostic options are broadened; and the need for prolonged treatment with dual anti-platelet medications to help lower the risk of developing blood clots may be reduced.

Coronary artery disease is the number one cause of death around the world and is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by a build-up of "plaque." Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol or other fatty deposits that accumulate on the inner wall of the artery. Over time, the plaque hardens and narrows the coronary arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Areas of plaque can also rupture, causing a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. This clot can block blood flow through the coronary artery, causing chest pain, angina and even heart attack.