Healthy Living: Stent system treats diabetics with heart disease
Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. More than half a million Americans die every year from Coronary Artery Disease or CAD, and Diabetics have a two to three fold increased risk for CAD. But as our Katie Gibas reports, a new technology is the first of its kind approved by the FDA for treating the disease in diabetic patients.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
For doctors, it's always been a challenge to treat diabetic patients for any illness, particularly heart disease.
"They have more, usually more blockages, more blockage material. They're more apt to come back with recurrent blockages, so they've been a little bit harder to treat patient than the run of the mill patient," said Dr. Ronald Caputo, St. Joseph's Cardiology Section Chief.
But there's good news for diabetics with heart disease. When it comes to treating Coronary Artery Disease, a stent or small metal coil is used to clear the debris clogging the artery and act as a buttress to improve blood flow to the heart. The FDA recently backed Medtronic's Resolute Integrity Stent System, the first stent approved for diabetics.
"It's been engineered to be more deliverable. It can get around the little bends and twists in the arteries right down to the blockage area. It's got a very powerful drug on it that prevents scar tissue from forming down the road. So hopefully, it's going to provide a more powerful long-term result," said Caputo.
Doctors said scar tissue can be a major hindrance to recovery.
"Scar tissue is another way for the artery to get narrowed. If the scar tissue builds up inside the stent, then you can get a renarrowing of the initial area of concern with scar tissue, so you're right back to square one," said Caputo.
One patient who participated in the initial study of the new stent applauds the technology.
"The stent procedure was very minimal as far as the recovery. I can't tout that enough. It was, to use the vernacular today, a piece of cake," said Al Fortino, a Heart Disease Patient.
The stent has been implemented in a number of hospitals across the state, and doctors said it's already becoming one of the mainstays for treating coronary artery disease.