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Cottage Heart & Vascular Center Offers 'Absorb' - Dissolving Heart Stent

‘Absorb’ medical device opens clogged arteries and gradually dissolves in the body

Cottage Heart & Vascular Center - Absorb Dissolving Heart Stent

The interventional cardiology team at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital recently became the only California hospital north of Los Angeles and the second in the state to offer patients with coronary artery disease an advanced, first-of-its-kind treatment option.

In July 2016, Dr. Joseph Aragon, director of the Cottage structural heart program and cardiac catheterization lab and Chair of the Cardiology Department at Sansum Clinic, and Dr. Michael Shenoda, interventional cardiologist for Sansum Clinic and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, implanted patients with Absorb, the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent.

The Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold is a major advance in the treatment of coronary artery disease, which affects 15 million people in the United States and remains a leading cause of death worldwide, despite decades of therapeutic advances.

While stents are traditionally made of metal, the Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. The Absorb device disappears in about three years, after it has achieved its goal of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.

“After a blockage in a blood vessel is cleared, it only needs support for a matter of months until the vessel heals and can stay open on its own,” Dr. Shenoda explained. “After that, the metallic stent serves no additional purpose, and can, in fact, be a hindrance.

“The stent dissolves except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers, which help guide placement and remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed,” he added.

In 2013, Dr. Shenoda and Dr. Aragon were the first physicians in the Central Coast region to enroll patients in the Absorb research trials conducted at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

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The world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent

Cottage Heart & Vascular Center - Absorb Dissolving Heart Stent

The interventional cardiology team at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital recently became the only California hospital north of Los Angeles and the second in the state to offer patients with coronary artery disease an advanced, first-of-its-kind treatment option.

In July 2016, Dr. Joseph Aragon, director of the Cottage structural heart program and cardiac catheterization lab and Chair of the Cardiology Department at Sansum Clinic, and Dr. Michael Shenoda, interventional cardiologist for Sansum Clinic and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, implanted patients with Absorb, the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent.

Learn About Absorb

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Absorb Team

Joseph Aragon, MD, Interventional Cardiologist

Sanjay Kumar, MD, Cardiology

Michael Shenoda, MD, Interventional Cardiologist

Caleb Thompson, MD, Cardiology, Cardiology-Interventional

Thomas Watson, MD, Interventional Cardiologist