East Texas Cardiologists first in state to implant dissolvable scaffolds

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 8:00pm

East Texas Cardiologists are first in the state to implant a new type of scaffold for patients with heart disease. Current methods use metal stents to open the closed artery, which stay in the body for life. The newest form uses a device that eventually dissolves into the bloodstream.

KETK spoke with Dr. Rachel DeVaney who shared, "There's the hope, in theory, that the function of the vessel could be regained because you're not leaving the metal residual like the current stents we use. So the vessel would be able to dilate and narrow like an normal functioning vessel".  

If successful, this may be the future wave of treatment for heart attacks. Doctors in this field are extremely excited about this new possibility.

However as with any surgery, there are risks involved. According to Greg Murphy R. Rh., CCRC from East Texas Medical Center, these risks are about the same as the metallic stents. Murphy says, "Deploying any type of device in a coronary artery is, you know, blood clots. You have all kinds of risk of damaging the artery".

This is still an ongoing national study, and East Texas is one of the early adopters. In East Texas alone, 14 patients are being treated. The study should be complete in 2014, once 2,000 people with blockages have been tested across the U.S.. These patients are very carefully selected. The requirements to be a candidate for this surgery may need large vessels, a stable heart rate, and many other qualifications.

Overall there are 2 locations here in East Texas that perform this surgery. In Texas, the only other city who is recently testing this treatment is Dallas.

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