- Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute became the first in South Florida and one of the first in the country to implant an absorbable heart stent, the hospital announced Monday.
- A team led by Ramon Quesada, medical director of the institute’s Structural Heart and Complex Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Programs, implanted a patient with the first FDA-approved biodegradable heart stent.
- The Food and Drug Administration approved Abbott Laboratories’ Absorb dissolving heart stent in July, offering patients an alternative to permanent metal stents.
Abbott’s Absorb stent, or “scaffold,” opens a clogged artery and then slowly disappears over three years, giving the artery time to heal. All that remains are four tiny platinum markers in the artery wall to identify where the stent had been placed.
Coronary heart disease affects about 15 million people in the U.S. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, about 600,000 of those people end up having stents implanted each year, 2% of whom develop life-threatening blood clots from the stent at the implants site.
At the time of approval, Abbott said it would roll the device out first at interventional cardiology centers that participated in the Absorb clinical trial before releasing it to hospitals across the U.S.
Miami Cardiac was the only medical center in South Florida to participate in the trial, and Quesada was the principal investigator there.
“This absorbable stent is a revolutionary advancement in the treatment of coronary artery disease,” Quesada said in a statement. “It benefits the patient by treating the diseased artery then gradually dissolving, leaving a healed artery that can pulse naturally, the way it was meant to function.”