Dec 20

Written by: rashmi
12/20/2012 3:55 PM


Dissolvable stents, Drug eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS), which were so far in the research stage, have now been approved by the Drug Controller General of India and formally launched by Abott.

Used for the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), these stents works like a metallic stent, but are dissolvable. They work by restoring blood flow to heart and dissolve into the body over time — leaving behind a treated vessel that may resume more natural function and movement as it is free of a permanent metallic stent. Till now, metallic stents that permanently stay in the blood vessel were commonly used to treat CAD.

BVS is made of polylactide, a naturally dissolvable material commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures.

"With BVS, we can offer our patients a significant advancement in treating coronary artery diseases. The structure starts to resorb within one year, dissolving completely within 2 years,  allowing the vessel the potential to flex, pulsate and dilate in response to normal activities such as exercise," said Dr Ashok Seth, chairman, cardiac sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

Experts list some  major advantages of the absorbable scaffolding- There would be no question of stent thrombosis (clotting) because the scaffolding dissolves. The biggest advantage is that patients will not need to take two anti-platelet (blood-thinning) medicines for years on end. It will be needed only for the initial few years. Such patients who need to undergo another operation in future, would not have a risk of excessive bleeding due to the blood thinners.

However, these drug coated absorbable stents would come at a higher price of approx. Rs 2.85 to 3 lac each, and the entire hospitalization may cost a patient over Rs 4 lakh for a single stent.


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