This coastal city that was fast establishing itself on the world medical tourism map has blazed yet another trail, when its doctors announced that they are able to implant Bio-resorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS), which is a state-of-the-art procedure to open clogged arteries in the heart.
BVS is a device designed to restore blood flow by opening a clogged vessel and providing support while it heals. Once the vessel can remain open without the extra support, the bio-resorbable scaffold is designed to be slowly metabolised and eventually dissolves into carbon dioxide and water in the body.
“Treatments for coronary artery disease have come a long way from the days of balloon angioplasties and metal stents. However, a dissolving stent like BVS leaves no foreign body inside the human body, as the clogged artery can be enlarged and supported effectively, without the stent leaving any fragments behind in the blood stream.” explained Dr BV Manjunath, interventional cardiologist, AJ Hospital and Research Centre.
“The device is made of polylactide, a proven biocompatible material that is commonly used in medical implants, such as dissolving sutures. Since a permanent implant is not left behind, a vessel treated with a BVS ultimately may have the ability to move, flex and pulsate similar to an untreated vessel,” interventional cardiologist, Dr R Purushotham added.
What’s at stake
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death globally and by 2030, almost 2.36 crore people will die from cardiovascular disease every year. The largest increase in number of deaths will occur in the South-East Asia region.
But what is BVS?
BVS is a first-of-its-kind device for the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). It works by restoring blood flow to the heart similar to a metallic stent, but then dissolves into the body, leaving behind a treated vessel that may resume more natural function and movement, because it is free of a permanent metallic stent. The vessel may expand and contract as needed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in response to normal activities such as exercising. Thus, treatment and diagnostic options are broadened, the need for long-term treatment with anti-clotting medications may be reduced and future interventions would be unobstructed by a permanent implant.