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Freeman Health System First in Missouri to Use Lower-risk Drug Stent on Heart Patients

November 09, 2015

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System Heart & Vascular Institute becomes the first in Missouri to successfully use bioabsorbable polymer drug-eluting stents (DES) that promote faster healing and reduce the risk of future heart complications. The SYNERGY™ Stent was developed by Boston Scientific and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October. The SYNERGY Stent is the only bioabsorbable polymer stent available to patients in the United States.  

“Stents are small scaffolding-like mesh designed to prop open arteries cleared of blockages,” said Dr. John Nicholas, Freeman Interventional Cardiologist. “A drug-eluting stent has a polymer coating that releases a drug over time to prevent blockage from returning.”

Existing DES devices effectively reduce blockages, and the polymer coating remains on the stent after the drug is delivered. However polymer coating on the new SYNERGY Stent is absorbed by the body in three months, reducing risks associated with long-term polymer exposure.

“We prefer stents coated with materials that dissolve more quickly,” said Nicholas. “Long-term exposure to polymer can cause inflammation, which delays healing.”
Delayed healing has been linked with complications, including blood clots. Like existing DES devices, the new SYNERGY Stent will be placed during cardiac catheterization. These new stents will be a treatment option for all appropriate patients. Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute will continue to stock multiple stent types to accommodate varying medical conditions.

Recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care and a top 100 CareChex® hospital in the nation in Interventional Coronary Care, Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute provides all cardiac services in one convenient location. The facility, a three-story wing adjacent to Freeman Hospital West, has three state-of-the-art operating suites and four cardiovascular catheterization labs.

Freeman Health System – Celebrating 90 Years of Service
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2014, Freeman earned 90 individual awards for medical excellence and safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman #1 Hospital in Southwest Missouri in 2014-15, and The Leapfrog Group gave Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at twitter.com/freemanceo. #FreemanTurns90