Great River Medical Center is the first hospital in Iowa to use a new stent
for treating coronary artery disease. The Food and Drug Administration
approved the new everolimus-eluting platinum chromium coronary stent in
early October after more than 10 years of research.
Stents are tiny metal mesh tubes that hold open clogged arteries, allowing
blood to flow freely to the heart. Drug-eluting or “medicated”
stents are covered with a drug that prevents tissue from growing over
and narrowing the stents after placement. The drug is attached to the
stent by a polymer.
The new stent, unlike the older generation of medicated stents, is coated
with a polymer that is absorbed by the body in three months. This absorbability
decreases the risk of stent clotting after placement.
“Bringing new medical technologies to southeast Iowa directly supports
Great River Health’ mission to provide outstanding patient
care,” said interventional cardiologist Abdullah Alwahdani, M.D.,
medical director, Cardiology.
To place a stent, an interventional cardiologist inserts a narrow tube
called a catheter into an artery in a patient’s groin or arm using
a special X-ray machine to guide it to the narrowed section. The physician
inserts the stent through the catheter and expands it by inflating a balloon.
Great River Health has three interventional cardiologists. Dr.
Alwahdani, Walid Saad, M.D., and Richard To., M.D., who see patients at
Great River Cardiology in Eastman Plaza, and they perform procedures in
Great River Heart and Vascular Center in the hospital.