Sharp Memorial Hospital made history on Saturday when it became the first local hospital to implant a biodegradable coronary artery stent in a patient.
Arterial stents are small permanent, expandable tubes placed inside narrow or blocked arteries that expand to widen the flow of blood. Stents are traditionally made of metal and have posed threats of blood clots and infection.
Now a new biodegradable device called Absorb can dissolve completely within a two to three year span. Absorb is designed to gradually release medication aiding in the self-repair of a damaged artery.
According to Sharp Memorial, the first recipient of the groundbreaking stent was a 47-year-old man who was convinced by family to see a doctor after experiencing chest pain while surfing. Doctors later discovered that the man had experienced a minor heart attack.
Absorb was implanted inside one of the patient’s coronary arteries on Saturday morning and he was sent home from the hospital on Sunday.
The hospital played a major part in national clinical trials for Absorb before the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the device on July 5.
Absorb is manufactured by Abbott.