Nebraska Medicine first in nation to use specialized stent

by Kayla Thomas, Nebraska Medicine | February 15, 2021

Image with caption: Yiannis Chatzizisis, MD, PhD, in a post-surgery briefing.

Yiannis Chatzizisis, MD, PhD, in a post-surgery briefing.

A stent is an important tool for any interventional cardiologist. But that tool has always been one size fits all -- until now. This week, Nebraska Medical Center became the first hospital in the nation to use a stent designed to fit larger vessels and allow more flexibility.

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Yiannis Chatzizisis, MD, PhD, meets with the first patient to receive the stent, Kate Kilcoyne.

On Feb. 11, Yiannis Chatzizisis, MD, PhD, chief of interventional cardiology, Gregory Pavlides, MD, PhD, and Edward O'Leary, MD -- all faculty members in the in the UNMC Division of Cardiovascular Medicine -- implanted the SYNERGY MEGATRON stent for the first time ever in the United States. In separate successful procedures, two women in their early 60s became the first patients in the nation to receive Megatron, a stent created by Boston Scientific.

"The Megatron coronary stent is a paradigm shift in interventional cardiology as it introduces for the first time the concept of using stents specifically designed for specific parts of heart arteries. This is truly a 21st century precision medicine approach," Dr. Chatzizisis said. "Megatron's unique design makes the stent stronger and more expandable, and thereby ideal for large and stiff heart arteries. That's a real game changer for interventional cardiologists and their patients."

"Our partnership with Boston Scientific exemplifies the shared vision of the UNMC Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Center for Heart and Vascular Research; a collaborative translational research effort of basic science research, technology development and clinical deployment," said Daniel Anderson, MD, PhD, UNMC chief of cardiology. "This collaborative approach has been critical and central in us helping to bring Megatron to the U.S. market. We value the partnership that Dr. Chatzizisis has built with Boston Scientific and the leadership support of Nebraska Medicine and the heart and vascular teams. We are excited for the impact of this effort and expect the Megatron stent to elevate and improve the care of our complex cardiovascular patients."

The FDA approved Megatron last month. Other medical centers will begin using the specialized stent this week.

Dr. Chatzizisis says this collaboration with Boston Scientific exemplifies the commitment to bring extraordinary care to patients.

"Megatron illustrates the ability of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine Heart and Vascular Center to bring state-of-the-art and innovative technologies to our patients through cutting-edge translational and clinical research."

More information about the Megatron stent from Boston Scientific is available here.