Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is region’s first hospital to implant new bioresorbable stent to treat coronary artery disease

October 25, 2016

Milwaukee, Wis. – Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center became one of the first hospitals in the nation and the first in southeastern Wisconsin to implant a new bioresorbable stent that will help patients fight against coronary artery disease.

Suhail Allaqaband, MD, an interventional cardiologist and medical director of the catheterization lab at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, led the implantation of the new Absorb fully-dissolving stent from Abbott Laboratories on October 19th, a device that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2016.

Absorb is the only fully-dissolving stent approved for the treatment of coronary artery disease, a condition that affects 15 million people in the United States and remains a leading cause of death worldwide, despite decades of therapeutic advances.  

Stents are commonly used to help increase blood flow in narrowing arteries caused by the buildup of plaque.  Most stents are traditionally made of metal and remain in the patient permanently, which can interfere with the healing process as inflammation can re-scar in vessels and lead to blood clots.

The new stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures, and it disappears completely in approximately three years after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment.

The new technology brings tremendous benefits to both physicians and patients. “As a physician, you always want to provide the best possible solution for the long-term health benefit of your patient,” said Allaqaband, who also was the primary investigator for the Absorb Clinical Trial at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, which was one of several sites around the world that tested the new technology for several years. “With this new stent dissolving in three years, it makes any future procedures in the arteries much easier because you don’t need to worry about the metal, and it helps the artery heal better overtime. It’s a potential game-changer in how we treat clogged arteries."

The addition of the new Absorb stent at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center build’s on the hospital’s leadership position in heart health care. The team of experts has pioneered a number of firsts, including:

  • The largest and most experienced Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program in Wisconsin, performing more than 700 cases with a 100 percent implementation rate.
  • The first health care system in world to use new 4D cardiovascular ultrasound technology from GE Healthcare, helping to see the heart like never before.
  • The first health care system in Wisconsin to implant a minimally-invasive leadless pacemaker, offering faster recovery time for patients.
  • The first heart transplant in Wisconsin in 1968, and since 1982, more than 800 total transplants, more than any other health care system in the state.
  • A leader in Ventricular Assistant Devices (VAD)s installation in patients with Advanced Heart Failure, having installed more than 700 VADs since 1995.
  • The first atrial defibrillator implant in the U.S., the first catheter ablation in Wisconsin and the first Epicardial Catheter Ablation of AFib in America.
  • The first device implant in Wisconsin to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • The first health care provider in Wisconsin to pioneer the hybrid ablation technique to treat patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • One of the few hospitals in the nation to receive a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

About Aurora Health Care

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and more than 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account. 

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