Royal Brompton Hospital private patients' centre announced it is now treating heart disease patients with Abbott’s Absorb™ bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS). Absorb is an implantable device that opens a blocked vessel and restores blood flow to the heart similar to traditional metallic drug eluting stents. However, unlike metallic stents, Absorb is made from a material designed to open a blocked artery and then naturally dissolve once the artery can stay open on its own.1 Patients are left with a vessel free of a permanent metallic stent, which can result in long-term benefits.2 Professor Carlo Di Mario will be treating patients with the Absorb device.
"Absorb is a significant advancement in the treatment of coronary artery disease, and we are excited to be able to bring this innovative new technology to our patients," said Prof Di Mario at Royal Brompton Hospital. "Unlike metallic stents that remain permanently in the body, Absorb dissolves away after doing its job, leaving patients with an artery that has the potential to move, flex, pulsate and dilate similar to a natural vessel. Our centre was the first UK centre to treat patients with bioabsorbable stents in 2005 but the results of those early prototypes, published in The Lancet, were by no means comparable to the results of this more mature technology which has reached 5 years of follow-up.”
The fully bioresorbable, drug eluting Absorb BVS is a first-of-its-kind device for the treatment of coronary artery disease. It maintains the ability of the most modern drug eluting stents to release drugs locally proven in 10 years of experience to fully inhibit the early reaction of the vessel wall causing lesion recurrence in the past. Unlike conventional metallic drug eluting stents, however, the Absorb BVS dissolves over time, leaving behind a vessel that may resume more natural function and movement. The long-term benefits of a scaffold that dissolves and restores the vessel to a more natural state are significant: the vessel may expand and contract as needed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in response to normal activities such as exercising; treatment and diagnostic options are broadened; and the need for prolonged treatment with anti-clotting medications may be reduced and eventually eliminated.
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, shortness of breath and even a heart attack.