Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dissolvable Stents!

Abbott Labs is enrolling patients in Europe for Phase 2 trials of a dissolvable stent for arteries. I mention this because this stent could be quite useful for people with CCSVI (and MS).

The resorbable (yes, that's a word) stents are made of corn starch and after two to three years will biodegrade completely. At least that's what the manufacturer intends, and the trials will confirm if the stents disappear in fact.

Since my improvements are slipping away I've begun to read more and more about the options available to me. In particular, I'm trying to get as much information on the potential risks and benefits. There isn't a lot of data to pore over, and I'm constantly reminded of my status as "guinea pig."

Unless I would prefer to take on the role of tortoise and slowly crawl down the path as I grow older and rabbits hurry past me. I could watch as the world around me moves forward with CCSVI treatments. I don't have anything against tortoises mind you, but moving at their speed can be as painful as living with a chronic illness.

So dissolvable stents would take maybe five or six years to get through trials if things go smoothly and would then need FDA approval. Did I forget to mention that the current trials involve stents placed in arteries, not veins? But perhaps using the stents off-label would ensue after a period of time if all goes well.

Alternative options for my second procedure could involve venoplasty with a large size balloon. Dr. Tariq Sinan has had some success with this procedure and may share some clinical data about his work in Kuwait. My concern is about over stretching veins that have thin walls (unlike arteries that have thick walls).

I'm publishing this post without leaving it to marinate in juice overnight and then edit the words after a good night's sleep. True, you caught me feeling cynical about the attractiveness of any potential options for me right now. I try not to write when I'm not feeling optimistic, but sometimes I just need to break my own rules.

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