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Dissolvable Stent Receives FDA Approval with Help of Mercy Springfield


The Food and Drug Administration has given approval to an absorbable stent to treat coronary artery disease after a clinical trial in which Mercy Springfield took part.

The Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold System can be used in place of metal stents and is absorbed by the body in around three years. 

Dr. Robert Merritt, who led the study in Springfield, said this means patients have access to newer technology that allows them to receive a device that doesn’t have the long-term risks associated with metal stents.

"Once you receive a metal stent, it basically is in the artery forever and can't be taken out, and the artery has to adjust to the presence of that metal stent," he said.

A biodissolvable stent, he said, provides the scaffolding for an artery to heal over time but then disappears and leaves the artery generally in a more normal condition.

More than 40 patients took part in the Springfield study since 2012, which looked at the patients’ initial outcome and long-term follow-up.

Merritt said, at first, the bio-absorbable stents will be used in limited application in mostly young patients with straight-forward, easy to treat blood vessels.

According to Merritt, “it’s a fantastic new world for technology to keep bringing new innovation to patient healthcare.”

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