Tucson, AZ (October 18, 2016)—The interventional cardiology team at Northwest Medical Center recently became the first hospital in Tucson to provide a patient with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that disappears over time.
Dr. Dexter DeLeon, an interventional cardiologist, was the first cardiologist in Tucson to implant a dissolving stent in a patient. The procedure took place at Northwest Medical Center on October 13 with the world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent. This stent 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 new bioresorbable stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. This stent disappears completely1 in about three years, after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.
To ensure optimal patient selection and implant technique, the cardiologists using this device have undergone extensive training.
Northwest Medical Center Chief of Staff and cardiologist Dr. Stephen Algeo said, “This bioresorbable stent promises to be the next breakthrough technology in interventional cardiology. We are delighted to be the first facility in Southern Arizona to treat a patient using this device.”
Dr. Anthony Galeo, the cardiology section head for Northwest Medical Center said, “While this treatment is not indicated for all patients, it will likely be applied to the majority of patients requiring stenting for obstructive coronary disease. This will decrease the number of patients who have permanent metallic stents left in their coronary arteries.”
Just like a cast isn’t needed after a broken bone heals, the bioresorbable stent treats the diseased artery until it heals, then gradually dissolves over time, leaving a healed artery that can flex and pulse naturally and reduces the risk of future blockages that may occur with metallic stents. It also makes it easier for doctors to offer additional interventions in the future if necessary.
About Northwest Medical Center
Northwest Medical Center is a 300-bed hospital offering a full range of healthcare services including Emergency services, accredited chest pain and heart failure programs, neurology and neurosurgery, outpatient imaging, a nationally accredited surgical weight loss program, total joint program, spine program and stroke center (distinguished by Joint Commission with Gold Seal designations), robotic surgery, GI lab, a free-standing women’s center, women’s imaging center of excellence (including 3D mammography) inpatient rehabilitation facility, wound care center, five urgent care facilities, and the Lazos de Familia and Healthy Beginnings pregnancy outreach programs. NMC also has three ambulatory surgery centers and affiliated medical practices including Northwest Allied Physicians offering primary care and a wide range of specialists, Desert Cardiology and The Heart Center of Southern Arizona.
For non-life threatening conditions, patients can check in online at HealthierTucson.com and click on “Online Check In” to choose a projected treatment time at any Northwest Healthcare Emergency Room. Online check in is based on the current wait time; patients need only complete a brief online form. Patients may also use online scheduling for Northwest Allied Physician primary care providers by visiting MyTucsonDoc.com. To learn more, visit HealthierTucson.com .
1 Absorb stent dissolves except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers that remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed.
6200 North LaCholla Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85741