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First in San Joaquin Valley to Offer New Dissolving Stent Procedure

Nov 9, 2016

Absorb press release photo

TURLOCK, Calif. – Nov. 10, 2016 – Emanuel Medical Center is the first hospital in the San Joaquin Valley to implant a new FDA-approved dissolving heart stent in a patient with coronary artery disease. The first procedure was recently performed by Ali H Reza, MD, who is board-certified interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease.

Absorb press release photo


The new stent, made of a biodegradable polymer, which is similar to the material used in dissolving sutures, is designed to dissolve completely in about three years, reducing the risk of future blockages. Although traditional metal stents (small mesh tubes) have been used successfully in cardiac patients for many years, scar tissue can sometimes develop.  Stents are inserted into the patient’s artery during a procedure known as coronary angioplasty to help restore blood flow through narrow or blocked arteries.


“We are proud to be the first hospital in our area to successfully implant the dissolving stent in a patient,” said Sue Micheletti, CEO of Emanuel Medical Center. “This is another major step toward our goal of maintaining and enhancing Emanuel’s reputation for offering our community exceptional heart care.”


“The dissolving stent is an innovative therapy for patients with coronary artery disease and one of the pioneering options we are able to provide to our patients,” said Oussama Dagher, MD, medical director of cardiovascular services at Emanuel. “This novel technology promises to be a great addition to the treatment options we already offer our patients.”


Since Dr. Reza performed the first dissolvable stent implant, nearly 20 patients have been successfully treated with the procedure at Emanuel by several interventional cardiologists. “The issue with metal stents is that after a blockage in a blood vessel is cleared, it only needs support for a matter of months until the vessel heals and can stay open on its own,” explained Dr. Reza. “After that, the metallic stent serves no additional purpose, and can, in fact, be a hindrance.”

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, coronary artery disease is responsible for approximately 370,000 deaths in the United States alone.When cholesterol-containing deposits build up and narrow the coronary arteries, blood flow to the heart decreases and can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue or other heart disease symptoms.


Emanuel Medical Center is a 209-bed acute care hospital located in Turlock, Calif. It provides emergency, critical care, pediatric, cardiovascular services, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women’s health services and surgical services. To search for a doctor by specialty or location phone (209) 250-5350. For hospital information, visit

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