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Innovative heart procedure is first performed in Montana

First successful implantation of a dedicated ‘side branch’ stent.

There is big news for Montana and patients at Kalispell Regional Healthcare: The first successful implantation of a dedicated ‘side branch’ heart stent was performed on August 23, 2017. This is great news for the community because it’s a unique and progressive heart procedure ̶ and it’s found right here in the Flathead Valley with our medical providers at Rocky Mountain Heart & Lung.

In simple terms, a stent is a short, narrow tube made of metal or plastic to help support blocked or collapsed anatomical channels, such as an artery. The purpose of a stent is to help keep the vessel open and blood flowing properly. Implanting a stent is fairly commonplace in terms of cardiac procedures these days; however, a side branch stent is a much more complicated procedure.

Imagine an important artery that forks in two to divert blood flow in different directions. When a problem occurs near the “fork” in one branch of the artery, it is more challenging to insert a traditional stent due to the complexity of other nearby support structures in the vessel. Both sides of the fork are vital and need to be preserved. In this instance, a Tryton side branch stent is the tool for the job.

The cardiac catheterization team, lead by David Philips, MD, performed the procedure in a patient with significant coronary heart blockages to open up this critical path for blood flow to better oxygenate the body. This novel procedure enables the physicians to achieve excellent outcomes, treating blockages in vessels supplying blood to heart muscle.

The Tryton side branch coronary stent was recently approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 6, 2017, and is built in to simplify treatment and achieve superior success. The primary benefit of this innovative procedure is that fewer numbers of stents are used to expand the problematic vessel and in a shorter amount of time compared to old technique of temporary stenting.

According to Dr. Philips, “In addition to achieving better clinical outcomes for our patients, this is intended to decrease the overall cost of heart stenting procedures.”

For more information about the Tryton Procedure, check out this online brochure, contact Rocky Mountain Heart & Lung at (406) 257-8992 or krh.org/rmhl.