Published on October 23, 2017

Leading the way for heart health

Mercy Fitzgerald first in Pennsylvania to use specialized heart stent

Dr. FinleyInterventional cardiologists rely on minimally invasive catheter-based procedures to treat heart and blood vessels problems. And at Mercy Fitzgerald, these procedures are state of the art. Here’s just one example:

Last May, the hospital became the first in the state to use a special kind of stent—a metal tube—just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people with extra-large heart arteries. The stent emits a drug that helps keep newly opened arteries from narrowing again after an angioplasty.

During angioplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the wrist or groin and threaded to an artery that is blocked by a sticky substance called plaque. The balloon is then inflated. This compresses the plaque and restores blood flow to the heart. Often a stent is also inserted at the same time to help the blood vessel stay open.

Doctors can expand the new stent so that it’s perfectly sized for very large arteries. The stent is also easier for doctors to see as they implant it, allowing for more precise placement.

“Arteries come in different sizes,” explains John J. Finley IV, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Mercy Fitzgerald. “Until now, we only had small-, medium- or large-sized stents. The fit with this new stent gives our patients the best possible chance that they won’t need to come back for a repeat procedure because their arteries have narrowed again.”