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New technology improves stent fit

Stents to open heart blockages are fitting better than ever, and doctors are ultimately "shining the light" on better patient outcomes.

"When it happens, you need to get some help pretty quick," interventional cardiologist Jan Pattanayak said.

Gary Scott, a 53-year-old heart attack patient, got help quickly thanks to Pattanayak, who works at Mission Hospital.

"Here on the left, we have Gary's angiogram when he originally came into the hospital," said the physician.

Pointing out the blockage was the first step toward opening it.

"Gary, this is the catheter that we used, just a hollow plastic tube...it's got a V-shaped form to it.," Pattanayak explained while showing Scott the process. "We put it in from your arm, as you'll remember, and it goes to your heart."

"I could feel the stent go in and it got real tight and hot for a few minutes and then it passed," recalled Scott.

"The stent looked good after the angiogram, but I wanted to make sure it's perfect," Pattanayak said. "So, we use this new technology called OCT."

Optical coherence tomography (OTC) is a separate catheter with a light capability that allows doctors to see where to make adjustments, ensuring optimal stent fit and reducing chances for complications, such as a clot.

Doctors say the OCT added about eight minutes to Scott's procedure.

From the time he came in and received the stent until he was in recovery was only 25 minutes.

"They took me in Wednesday about 3:15," Scott said. "At 4:15, I was eating supper, sitting up in the bed eating supper."

That's quick to be back into life and seeing the light of day because of a new light in the heart cath lab.

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