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Published on October 31, 2016

First-of-its-kind fully dissolvable heart stent now available in Minnesota

A drug eluting coronary stent that dissolves, completely and naturally, in the body over time is now available in Minnesota.

Abbott’s Absorb device represents a major advance in the interventional treatment of coronary artery disease—the next significant innovation in a chain of revolutionary treatments starting with balloon angioplasty in the 1970s, bare-metal stents in the 1980s and drug eluting stents in the 2000s.

On October 17, CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist Thom Dahle, MD, along with a multidisciplinary team, became the first in Minnesota to insert the Absorb stent, which the FDA approved this past July.

Like a metallic stent, Absorb props open a diseased vessel to restore blood flow. However, like dissolving stitches, Absorb disappears, usually within three years, once it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the vessel. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.

The new dissolving stents bring several benefits. They allow vessels to expand and contract as needed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in response to normal activities, such as exercising. Also, they allow more flexibility for future diagnostic and treatment options and may reduce the need for long-term anti-clotting medications.

About Coronary Artery Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women around the world, and coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. Coronary artery disease occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked due to plaque buildup (fatty deposits), leading to chest pain (angina) and increasing the risk of a heart attack.

About the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center at St. Cloud Hospital

CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center is a comprehensive heart center dedicated to the prevention, discovery and management of heart disease. It offers a full range of heart services and is one of the few sites in Minnesota with a heart research program. Learn more about all the heart services the CentraCare Heart & Vascular provides.

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