January 25, 2017– Southeast Georgia Health System-Brunswick Campus
is the first community-based hospital in the United States to use the
first fully dissolving heart stent available worldwide.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July, Abbott Laboratories’
dissolvable heart stent, Absorb GT1™ or Absorb, was used by Matthew
Certain, M.D., interventional cardiologist with Strickland, Certain &
Jones, and vice chief, Department of Medicine, for the first time at the
Health System on November 21, 2016.
Interventional cardiologists Michael Butler, M.D., and Marsha Certain,
M.D., have also completed the training to perform the procedure.
According to Decisions Resource Group, a health care consulting firm, 850,000
patients a year are treated with heart stents in the United States. Historically,
stents are metal wire mesh tubes that are implanted into a blocked artery
narrowed by fatty deposits, or plaque, to open it up and restore blood
flow. The stent acts as scaffolding to support the walls of the artery
so it can heal.
Originally, stents were simply bare metal, but after the turn of the century,
cardiologists began using drug-coated stents, which are the most commonly
used today. Once the artery has healed the stent remains in place, which
can cause adverse affects including scar tissue leading to the formation
of blood clots or, heart attack and death.
The advantage of the Absorb stent is that it is a biodegradable polymer
that dissolves over time, like dissolving stiches, into water and carbon
dioxide, both of which occur naturally in the body and reabsorb. Within
two to three years, the stent is completely gone.
Certain explains, “Similar to casting a broken bone so it can be
supported and heal, a stent is implanted in a blocked artery after it
has been opened up to once again restore blood flow. The stent supports
the walls of the artery, giving it time to regain its normal structure
and flexibility. And, unlike metal stents that are permanent, the Absorb
stent breaks down and disappears over time reducing the risk of complications.”
Absorb stents have been available in Europe, Latin American and Asia and
implanted in more than 150,000 patients. In the United States it is still
considered a relatively new therapy for treating coronary artery disease.
As the first absorbable stent approved for use in the United States, it
is not yet widely available in all hospitals or in all states.
For more information about Absorb dissolving heart stent, visit dissolvingstent.com;
to find a interventional cardiologist, call the free Southeast Georgia
Health System provider referral line at 1-855-ASK-SGHS (1-855-275-7447).