SPOKANE, Wash. – Rockwood Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Unit is the first in the Inland Northwest to perform a procedure using a bioresorbable coronary stent.

The stent is implanted in patients who suffer from coronary artery diseases. According to Rockwood Clinic officials, nearly 15 million people in the United State suffer from coronary artery disease. It is also the leading cause of death in the U.S.

The bioresorbable coronary stent keeps clogged arteries open and is made out of a naturally dissolving material. The material disappears once the artery is opened, allowing blood to flow freely for three years.

“Bioresorbable stents are a great addition to our treatment options for appropriately sized vessels,” said Dr. Ellie Mueller, the first physician in Spokane to implant the stent. “It is one of the new cutting edge technologies available for appropriate patients with ischemic heart disease, and we are happy to be able to offer it to our patients.”

Rockwood Clinic has performed several procedures using the stent. The first procedure to use the bioresorbable stent was performed in mid-March.