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DHA unveils breakthrough heart procedure

Dubai, January 30, 2012

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) participated in an innovative procedure to treat blocked coronary arteries at the Rashid and Dubai Hospital last week.

The new therapy, which was undertaken for the first time, is deemed so groundbreaking that it has been hailed the ‘Fourth Revolution’ in the field of cardiology, a statement from the Authority said.

The DHA is the first health entity in the Mena region to offer the new therapy, putting it on the map for breakthrough advances in healthcare.

The therapy, which is titled ‘Absorb’, involves the insertion of a bioresorbable scaffold into an affected coronary artery to keep it open and thereby promote the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.

It is similar to the existing technique that places a ‘stent’ into a diseased artery, but with one crucial difference. Whereas the stent is a permanent fixture that remains in the blood vessel, making the vessel similar to a cage, the scaffold progressively dissolves over a period of two years, leaving the artery widened but with no trace of the device left.

“The Absorb program promises to revolutionise the treatment of coronary artery disease over the coming years,” said Khalid Al Sheikh Mubarak, deputy director-general at the DHA.

“Thanks to the foresight of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who is determined to reduce the social and economic burden of heart disease in the UAE, the DHA is now plays a leading role in new forms of treatment for this condition, which is currently the number one cause of death in the country,” he added.

The first ever insertion of an Abbott Absorb scaffold device took place at Dubai Hospital’s heart center and was performed by Dr Talib K Majwal, consultant, interventional cardiology and director of interventional cardiology, Dubai Hospital and Dr Fahad Baslaib, consultant interventional cardiologist and director of Rashid Hospital’s cardiology department.

The procedure took about twenty minutes, with the patient remaining conscious throughout, the statement said.

“In terms of insertion technique, the procedure is much the same as placing a stent in an affected artery, so there was no need to learn a major new set of skills for this new treatment paradigm,” said Dr Majwal.

“Although the insertion technique is the same, the huge advantage that this scaffold has over a stent is that over a period of two years it dissolves into harmless gas and water, leaving the coronary artery free of any foreign object,” he said.

“This allows the artery to flex and pulsate, which is better for blood flow than having a restrictive permanent stent that turns the vessel into an inflexible cage and inhibits artery movement,” Dr Majwal added.

The term ‘Fourth Revolution’ that has been applied to this procedure follows its recognition as a groundbreaking form of treatment for coronary artery disease.

It is the latest development that has seen a linear progression from the ‘First Revolution,’ which was coronary angioplasty using a balloon to widen the affected artery, the ‘Second Revolution,’ which was the use of a permanent metal stent to unblock an artery and the ‘Third Revolution,’ which incorporated drugs built into a stent to be gradually released over time.

“The bioresorbable scaffold offers numerous benefits over metal stents, so it can be considered as a whole new treatment paradigm in its own right,” said Dr Baslaib.

“It is particularly beneficial for younger patients, as there is the option for further forms of treatment in the future – something that the insertion of a metal stent precludes. This is especially significant for the UAE, as the average age that people start to experience heart problems here is 45 years of age, which is 10 to 15 years younger than in Europe," he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai Health Authority | Rashid Hospital | Dubai Hospital | Absorb | Procedure | Coronary Arteries |

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