Walking Strong, Making History

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Published on July 01, 2020

Walking Strong, Making History

Grateful Patient Becomes First in Los Angeles County to Receive New Stent.

Photo of patient and grandsonPhoto of patient and grandsonWhen 65-year-old Dolores Martinez Banda went to the emergency room at PIH Health Downey Hospital in March 2018, she had no idea her chest pains were a sign of a minor heart attack. Fortunately, the cardiovascular medical team, led by cardiologist Kaushal Tamboli MD, knew just what to do. First, the team needed to get a clear view of Dolores’ heart and arteries. Dr. Tamboli performed cardiac catheterization by putting a long, thin, flexible tube (called a catheter) into a blood vessel and threaded it into Dolores’ heart. Next, he performed a coronary angiography by putting a contrast dye into the catheter, which enabled him to take X-ray images of the heart to see if her coronary arteries were narrowed or blocked.

The team saw an existing stent, which Dolores received years ago to address a previous blockage. A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube that props open a blocked artery and is left in place permanently. “The angiography showed severe narrowing in the existing stent and another area of severe narrowing in the patient’s artery,” said Dr. Tamboli. “We were able to clear Dolores’ existing stent with a balloon angioplasty, and we placed a brand new stent in her artery with excellent results.” That new stent is no ordinary device. Measuring just 2.0 millimeters, it’s currently the smallest Drug-Eluting Stent (DES) on the market, and was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just a few weeks before Dolores’ procedure. Dolores was the first patient in Los Angeles County to receive it. “This 2.0 millimeter stent is very useful in patients with small blood vessels, especially diabetics,” said Dr. Tamboli. “The availability of small stent sizes gives medical professionals an additional option for treating patients with narrow blood vessels—people who could not be treated with stents before.” Today, Dolores couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome and her new level of energy. “I was very happy to get back to walking and exercising, with no concerns of chest pains or breathing problems. I feel absolutely great,” she said. “I was also excited and proud when I learned that I would be the first patient in LA County to receive this new stent. It’s nice to know that PIH Health Downey Hospital has the latest medical devices available for patients like me, and physicians who are up to date on the latest technologies.”

To learn more about PIH Health Cardiology, visit PIHHealth.org/Heart.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.