Mumbai: Heart care seems to have evolved to another level with people increasingly asking for the latest 4th generation stent that disappears over a period of time leaving no metal inside the body, say medical experts.
Bringing in a relief for heart patients with severe blockages and especially those who are young, the new stent "Absorb" has seen a rising demand from the patients themselves since it`s recent launch a few months back, the experts said.
Medical industry sources indicate that so far in the last few months over 2,500 bioabsorbable scaffolds have already been used in more than 2,000 patients.
Dr AB Mehta, leading cardiologist at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, said, "Heart disease has been a killer world over with millions of people succumbing to it every year. In India, every year more than 50 per cent people in the non-communicable disease segments die due to cardiovascular diseases, as per the official data."
For patients not keen on an open-heart surgery or in cases where surgery is avoidable, angioplasty is the best option as it is minimally invasive and a patient can usually go in a single day and get back to work in a week`s time.
In India, as per the industry estimates, over 300,000 stents (including traditionally used metallic stents and drug eluting stents) are implanted every year spread across government and private hospitals both, Mehta added.
Recently, angioplasty was performed using `Absorb` by cardiologist Dr Shahid Merchant of Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on 26-year old Arif Khan, who was a chain smoker for years and had suffered two heart attacks within the span of a year.
Arif said, "I used to feel breathless even while sitting and lying down. Due to my smoking habit my health got worse and tests revealed that I had severe blockages."
"I feel very refreshed and full of energy after getting the angioplasty done. Especially, the Absorb stent, which will dissolve automatically after doing it`s job and vanish from my body leaving no metal inside," Arif said.
According to sources in medical industry, in the last few months after its launch in India, `Absorb` has been successfully used in more than 250 institutions (including large and medium size hospitals) across India in as many as over 45 cities by more than 500 practising interventional cardiologists.
Dr Samuel Mathew, Lilavati Hospital, said "Angioplasties have evolved as a preferred choice of treatment over surgeries in the last many years as the patient goes through much less pain and trauma. With this latest bioabsorbable stent leaving no metal in the body for life, a patient is much more comfortable psychologically."
"Also, in case of the patients prone to having deposits in arteries and may require further angioplasties, this bioabsorbable stent comes as a boon to them. Especially, a huge benefit for younger patients," he added.
Bombay Hospital`s Director-Cardiology Dr B K Goyal said, "In the recent few months we have seen patients asking for the bioabsorbable scaffold to be put instead of the traditionally used metallic stent. I have deployed about 10 bioabsorbable stents in the last few months. While we may not prefer this to very elderly people, but for the younger patients it can be definitely recommended."
With the sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, hypertension and obesity on the rise, increasing stress levels coupled with smoking habits in many cases, more and more people today are getting prone to cardiovascular diseases, Goyal said.
While advanced medical solutions are available today, doctors advice maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding junk and fat-rich food, having a daily walk and living stress free to avoid getting heart disease early in life, sources said.