A doctor at the U-of-Iowa is working with new ways to fix up blood vessels that could prevent the need for bypass surgery. Dr. James Rossen, associate professor of Medicine at the U of I Hospitals and schools, says a narrowed artery may be propped open with a tiny brace called a stent. A coronary stent is an inch or two long, one-eighth to one-quarter inch diameter. He says they’ve made it possible to treat more patients, and despite worries they might cause blood clots, it hasn’t been a problem. The stent Dr. Rossen’s working with may become an important addition to the treatment for patients who are very sick with cardiac disease. If they have very bad coronary-artery blockage, they may have bypass surgery but a complication can be the narrowing of the “graft” site where that bypass was done. The risk of that narrowing can be cut by putting in a stent to prop open the blood vessels, and Rossen says he’s studying the use of a new and improved kind of stent.He’s taking part in a study of a unique design, a stent that’s inserted in the blood vessel, and once expanded, is covered with a special fabric. The aim’s to keep re-opened vessels open, and also to avoid a complication that can occur after surgery or angioplasty on veins.When they use a balloon to open the vessel, some of that plaque and blood clot material can break off and float loose in the bloodstream. Rossen says he expects to find the risk of that happening is greatly reduced by using the stent covered with a special fabric that’s already used to treat other kinds of artery disease.
You are here: / / New method could help prevent need for heart bypass