Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta (LLUMC-Murrieta) announced that it is among the first hospitals in Southern California to begin using fully dissolving stents, a technology designed to restore blood vessels without leaving residual metal behind, as has been the case with conventional metal stents.

The Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold stent is a technology manufactured by Abbott Vascular, a division of Abbott Laboratories located in Temecula, CA, just a few miles away from the hospital.

“This is a major milestone for the Cardiac Services program at Loma Linda University Medical Center- Murrieta,” said Dr. Niraj V. Parekh, Cath Lab Medical Director. “We are now able to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new treatment option that literally disappears over time.”

Dr. Steve Jin, an Interventional Cardiologist at LLUMC-Murrieta, implanted a patient with the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent, on December 9. “We are very excited to be the first hospital in the Inland Empire to use the dissolving stent technology. We were able to implant the device via the radial artery, utilizing a process that is more procedural and precise in nature, but with greater, lifelong benefits for the patient,” said Dr. Jin.

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, Abbott’s Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. Absorb disappears completely (Absorb 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) in about 3 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.

Located in Southern California’s Southwest Riverside County, LLUMC–Murrieta is a 106-bed hospital that serves the communities of Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, and Lake Elsinore.