Features September 2008 Issue

Drug-Coated Coronary Stents Offer Life-Saving Benefits

A 74-year-old Ohio judge is still presiding in court three years after receiving the implants to reopen a blocked artery.

Fred Izenson was out of options when he visited Cleveland Clinic in 2005. A major coronary artery was blocked, and the grafts used to bypass it and supply blood to a portion of his heart had failed. After having three bypass surgeries, he didn’t want a fourth. So the Kettering, Ohio, man and his doctors—including Cleveland Clinic interventional cardiologist Samir Kapadia, MD—decided to implant drug-eluting stents to reopen his occluded (blocked) artery. The stents—wire-mesh cylinders coated with a drug polymer—prop open and restore blood flow through occluded blood vessels. Three years later, and after a groundswell of concern about the safety of the medicated stents, Izenson and his implants are functioning well. "To me, there was no other option. I was glad to find a less-invasive procedure," says the 74-year-old magistrate judge. "As far as I’m concerned, the medicated stents are a life-saver. I think I’m doing very well."

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