Absorb Stent

Heart Absorb Stent 177
Absorb fully dissolving heart stent. ©2016 Abbott. All Rights Reserved.

Coronary artery disease affects 15 million people in the United States and is a leading cause of death worldwide. The Absorb bioresorbable heart stent is the world’s first FDA-approved dissolvable stent to treat coronary artery disease.

What Is the Absorb Stent?

The Absorb stent is a naturally dissolvable heart stent that treats coronary artery disease.

Typically, heart stents are made of metal and remain in the body forever. Absorb, on the other hand, is a stent made of polylactide, a naturally dissolving material similar to dissolving stitches.

The first of its kind, the Absorb stent begins dissolving after 1 year and is completely absorbed 3 years after implantation. At that point, the artery has healed and blood flow is restored. 

All but two small metallic markers dissolve completely. Those markers tell physicians where the device was implanted. 

How Does the Absorb Stent Work?

Once implanted, the dissolvable stent opens the clogged artery and restores blood flow. It’s flexible and allows the artery to pulse and flex naturally.

The stent releases everolimus, a medication that prevents scar tissue from forming and potentially narrowing the artery. After the blockage clears, the blood vessel heals within months so it can stay open on its own.

Unlike metal stents, a dissolvable stent allows the vessel to heal and function after the stent is no longer needed.

The Absorb stent’s performance happens in 3 phases:

  1. Revascularization: From implantation to about 6 months post-implantation, the stent provides vessel support. It also suppresses neointimal hyerplasia, or scar tissue, so that it does not cause the artery to become too narrow and hinder the healing process.
  2. Restoration: From 6 months to 18 months post-implantation, the stent becomes a passive implant and begins dissolving. The neointima, or lining of the artery, also begins to form.
  3. Resorption: From 18 months to 3 years post-implantation, the stent eventually dissolves completely, and the vessel heals.

Benefits of the Absorb Stent

Coronary artery disease is a temporary problem, so it can be treated with a temporary solution. 

To understand this concept more clearly, it’s helpful to relate the stent to a cast: After a broken bone heals, a cast is no longer needed. When a heart vessel heals, the stent becomes obsolete. 

Patients can feel immediate relief from chest pain caused by coronary artery disease with the implantation of a dissolvable stent.

However, the benefits are not only short-lived. The Absorb stent has long-term effects:

  • Much like with metal stents, it reduces risk of future blockages.
  • Unique to the Absorb stent, it allows the artery to pulse and flex naturally.
  • The Absorb stents allow doctors to offer future interventions more easily, if necessary. This is especially important if bypass surgery is required in the future, as there is nothing in the way. 

Absorb Stents at Wake Forest Baptist Health

Wake Forest Baptist Health is currently the only hospital in the region to offer this treatment.

Our cardiologists participated in the Absorb clinical trials and have used the device for more than 3 years. 

Developed and manufactured by Abbott, a global health care company, the Absorb stent is currently available in more than 100 countries and has been used to treat more than 150,000 people worldwide.

Request an appointment to discuss the Absorb stent with one of our specialists. 

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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