Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL. - Loyola Medicine is the first hospital in Chicago to offer a new bioabsorabable stent that is absorbed by the body once it has served its purpose.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Absorb®, the first absorbable cardiac stent. Loyola participated in the pivotal clinical trial that lead to the stent’s approval.

“Loyola has the expertise and necessary experience to treat patients with bioabsorbable stents,” said Fred Leya, MD, Loyola’s medical director of interventional cardiology.

A clogged coronary artery typically is treated with a balloon angioplasty, which props the vessel open and restores blood flow. Following the angioplasty, a tube-shaped metal stent is deployed to keep the artery open. However, a traditional metal stent can cause inflammation that can reclog the artery, and blood clots that increase the risk of heart attacks.

The Absorb® stent remains intact until the artery has healed and no longer is in danger of collapsing. The stent gradually breaks down into water and carbon dioxide. After three years the stent is completely dissolved. The vessel remains open on its own, with no need of support.

More than two-thirds of patients who require stents will qualify for the Absorb stent. The device is not intended for use in arteries narrower than 2.5 mm.

“Patients who are excellent candidates for it will be offered the bioabsorbable stent,” Dr. Leya said. “Those who are not candidates for bioabsorbable stents will continue to receive excellent metal stents.”

Loyola Medicine is nationally recognized for its expertise in diagnosing and treating a broad range of heart and vascular conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, hypertension, stroke, valvular disease, vascular disease and pediatric heart conditions.