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biodegradable stents

Coronary artery blockages can cause the blood supply to the heart to stop. Conventionally we have used metal stent mounted on a balloon to open up blocked arteries and to keep them open.
In the last few years there is a new type of stent available that is made of a biodegradable material that dissolves away completely after 18 months to 2 years. This means that there no longer any stent left within the artery for the rest of the patients life. This may have implications for younger patients and those requiring a long segment of artery that needs to be stented.