Jim Makey is competitive by nature. He loves winning and being first. However, being first in Omaha to receive a new absorbing stent, is not something he had in mind.
“I bragged to my friends and family that I was the first person in Omaha to have the new absorbing stent,” Makey says. “I like to be first in everything I do, so I’ll count this as a win.”
During the summer, Makey competed in a pair of half marathons and then the Mayor’s Triathlon in Papillion. The school principal then went on vacation, but once he returned he noticed reoccurring chest pains. Simple tasks like mowing the yard or jogging had required him to take breaks due to the pain.
“At first I thought, ‘man, I really got out of shape during those two weeks of vacation,’” he says.
After visits to doctor, he learned about the coronary artery blockage.
“I have a pretty active lifestyle, so that news really came as a surprise,” Makey says.
On Nov. 29, 2016, Haysam Akkad, MD, interventional cardiology, placed the absorbing stent in Makey, marking the first time this type of stent had been inserted in Omaha.
The absorbing stent is the first of its kind and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July 2016. The new stent is another option for patients, other than the traditional metallic stent. The dissolving stent treats coronary artery disease like a metal stent. It props open the diseased vessel to restore blood flow, however, it then dissolves after the artery is healed, leaving no metal behind to restrict natural vessel motion. The new stent is made of a naturally dissolvable material called polylactide, similar to dissolving stitches. The stent disappears completely in approximately three years, once it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the artery.
Dr. Akkad describes the absorbing stent as a breakthrough that will change how coronary artery disease is treated. “It takes interventional cardiology to different level, where the patient will have his or her coronaries fixed and have the added benefit of not having any stent material left in his or her body after a few years,” he says.
After almost two month since having the new stent placed, Makey is getting back to feeling like his normal, active self again.
“The recovery has gone really well,” he says. “I’ve even been doing more intervals of walking and jogging on the treadmill without any pain or stress. If someone else finds themselves situation, as I was in, I’d definitely recommend the absorbing stent. Everyone’s situation is different, but it’s been a good decision for me.”
Nizar Mamdani, Executive Director and founder of the International Healthcare Services at Nebraska Medicine says, Dr. Haysam Akkad is an inspiring and remarkable example of the caliber of specialist and researchers working tirelessly to help provide better interventional cardiology treatment. Through collaborative strategic partnerships with 122 institutions in 44 countries, we continue to provide innovative educational and treatment options, as well as specialized tele-pathology and second opinion consultation services for Neurology, Cancercare and Transplantation patients around the world.”