Leesburg Regional Medical Center reently announced another first as its cardiology team offers patients with coronary artery disease the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent.
Stents are traditionally made of metal, but Abbott’s Absorb stent is similar to dissolving sutures and disappears completely in about three years. This allows time to keep the clogged artery open and provide healing for the treated artery segment.
“Traditionally, we would treat a patient with coronary artery disease with a metal stent, and it would stay with them for the rest of their life,” says Dr. Srinivas Attanti, a board-certified interventional cardiologist with Citrus Cardiology Consultants, PA, and staff member at LRMC. “Now, just like a doctor treating someone for a broken bone would remove a cast when the injury is healed, we’re able to use a stent that naturally dissolves after the artery is healed. This leaves the artery with the ability to pulse and flex naturally.”
This is especially good news for older patients who are unable to take the essential blood thinners needed with a traditional metal stent. LRMC’s interventional cardiology team participated in specialized training to use the new device.
In addition, LRMC recently announced that it is among the first hospitals in Florida to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. The Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device. It is approved for Medicare reimbursement and is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.
“We believe this is the start of a new era in pacemakers,” says Dr. Hector Garcia, a board-certified interventional cardiologist with Florida Cardiovascular Specialists and staff member at LRMC. “The absence of leads is one of the main advantages of the pacemaker. The elimination of the wires connecting the device to the heart makes for a less invasive procedure and reduces risk of complications for the patient.”
The Micra® TPS is the only system to be approved for MRI scans, and allows patients and doctors to send data remotely through the Medtronic CareLink® Network.