Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Absorb?

  • Absorb is the only fully dissolving heart stent.
  • It is made of the same material used in dissolving medical stitches.
  • It is the first and only stent that fully dissolves in a natural way, leaving the artery device-free.* 

2. How is it different from other options?

  • Other heart stents are made of metal.
  • Metal stents are left in the body permanently, even after the artery no longer needs support to stay open.
  • Absorb is NOT made of metal. It is made of the same material used in dissolving stitches.
  • As Absorb gradually dissolves in about 3 years, it restores** the artery. Like a natural vessel, the treated artery can move1 and flex, allowing blood flow when needed.
  • Absorb renews the options for future treatments. After Absorb has dissolved, the possible benefits include:
    • “Unjailing”—there is no metal stent to block (“jail”) another vessel that branches off of the treated artery.
    • “Uncaging”—when metal stents are not left behind, the artery can expand and contract naturally to allow for blood flow.
    • More bypass options—if you need surgery in the future, there is no metal stent to limit the doctor's bypass options.
  • Absorb avoids future complications that can occur with permanent metal stents. These complications might include the stent breaking over time or parts of the stent losing contact with the vessel wall, called malapposition.2,3

3. Is Absorb FDA approved?

  • Yes, Absorb was approved by the FDA in July of 2016. It was studied in clinical trials before it was approved by the FDA. This is why some people were treated with Absorb before it received FDA approval.

4. If it is new to the market, is it safe for me?

  • Several large clinical trials both inside and outside the U.S. have shown that Absorb is safe for treating blocked arteries. Its performance is similar to the XIENCE stent—also made by Abbott—which has been used for 8 years in the U.S. XIENCE is known as the best-in-class drug-eluting stent available. But unlike XIENCE, Absorb fully dissolves over time. After about 3 years, it leaves nothing behind but a natural vessel.*

5. Can I get Absorb?

  • It’s important to both you and your doctor that you understand your treatment options. These are big decisions, and your doctor wants to make sure you agree with them. Ask your doctor whether the fully dissolving stent, Absorb, is a good choice for you.

6. About how many people have been treated with Absorb?

  • It has been used outside the U.S. since 2012 and is now available in more than 100 countries. Worldwide, more than 150,0004 people have received Absorb, and it has been studied in more than 30,0005,6 patients.
  • Studies have shown that Absorb performs like the best-in-class drug-eluting stent, XIENCE.
  • Hear what people have to say about being treated with Absorb.

7. Where can I get more information about it?

  • Other pages of this website have more information on Absorb. Here you can also find out about heart disease, various stent options, and what people say after being treated with Absorb. You can also sign up on the site to get more information emailed to you. 

8. Once Absorb dissolves, won't my artery close again?

  • To understand how the dissolving stent works, consider how a cast treats a broken bone.
    • The cast provides structure and support until the bone is healed. Then it is removed.
    • In the same way, Absorb supports the artery to restore blood flow, and then it dissolves. The treated part of the artery no longer needs support to stay open.
    • After the cast is removed, the bone is healthy again. Similarly, the artery will not close just because Absorb has dissolved.

9. Are there greater risks with Absorb than with another drug-eluting stent?

  • Absorb is shown to be as safe as the best-in-class metal stent, XIENCE, and they have comparable safety and effectiveness. And compared to other stents, Absorb can offer long-term benefits like:
    • No permanent implant.
    • More options for future treatments of the artery, if needed.
    • Avoids late complications that can occur with metal stents such as the stent breaking over time or parts of the stent losing contact with the vessel wall, called malapposition.2,3 

10. How long will it take for me to recover after getting Absorb?

  • The recovery time for Absorb is similar to the recovery time for other stents.
  • Your recovery will depend a lot on your current medical condition. You should talk over any specifics with your doctor. 

11. I already have a stent in the same artery that is now blocked. can I still safely get Absorb?

  • It depends on what kind of metal stent you have.
    • If you have a stent coated with the medicine everolimus, then you can safely get Absorb.
    • If you have a stent coated with medicines such as zotarolimus or Biolimus, then you should discuss your options with your doctor.

12. Do I use dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT)/anti-clotting medicine after receiving Absorb?

  • You should follow your doctor's recommendation for any medicine related to your stent implant. 
 

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References:
1. Serruys PW et al. ABSORB Cohort B Presentation. TCT. 2015.
2. Christiansen E. Cohort B, 4 Year Clinical Results. Presented at the 63rd Annual Scientific Session of the ACC, 29–31 Mar 2014, Washington, D.C.
3. Serruys PW et al. Absorb Cohort B 5 Year. TCT. 2015.
4. Sales data through May 2016, 1.2 units/patient. Data on file at Abbott Vascular.
5. ABSORB FIRST, ABSORB Extend, Gabi–R, REPARA, UK Registry, IT-Disappears, France ABSORB, FEAST.RU, RAI Registry, SMART REWARD, ABSORB Australia, BVS EXPAND, ASSURE, PABLOS, Absorb CTO, Prague – 19, GHOST Ferrarotto, POLAR ACS, GHOST EU, Cohort B.
6. AIDA, EVERBIO, ABSORB II, ABSORB III, ABSORB IV, ABSORB Japan, ABSORB China, COMPARE Absorb, Trofi II, Prospect II, ISAR Absorb, PREVENT.

*Absorb, the fully dissolving stent, dissolves completely—except for 2 pairs of small platinum markers that show up on a scan so that doctors can always see exactly where the stent was placed.
**Absorb improves coronary luminal diameter, restores blood flow and enables movement of the treated vessel. Source: Absorb GT1 IFU.

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