Archive for February 11, 2009
Hi, this is Rabbi, Dr. Yosef Freedland, Surgeon, and Patent Attorney on Medical Devices at Appelfeld Zer Fisher.
Everything is still OK at the OK corral, and this is Post number 2 on stents.
To avert the problem of embolism in jacketed stents, many people are given a drug for life which reduces platelet aggregation, for example Plavix. Less platelet aggregation means that when the endothelial cells separate from the polymer stent jacket, the platelets don’t tend to aggregate around the endothelial cells. No aggregation, no clumps — no clumps, no embolism.
The endothelial cells that break off generally do not gain the mass that becomes dangerous to your organs. Sort of like streaks of light that are evidence of tiny meteorites burning up in the atmosphere; endothelial cells without the combination of platelets generally “burn off” and do no harm to you.
Without Plavix, those tiny meteorites may clump together somewhere “out there” and form into an earth-killing planetoid or maybe even “The Eggplant that Ate Chicago”.
So the solution is to get a jacketed stent and take Plavix for life?
Not so quickly, Dicky!
Plavix is not a foolproof treatment for preventing an embolism because there may be a high percentage of Plavix receivers who do not develop sufficient reduction in platelet aggregation; and some of these people may end up with an embolism.
Then there are Plavix side-effects which include skin rashes, ulcers, loss of consciousness, and bone marrow disease.
So getting a jacketed stent and taking Plavix for life?
So it would be great if YOU
— yes YOU, the person in the front row; with the plaid pants, polka dot shirt, striped bow tie, and fourteen pens in a shirt pocket plastic pocket protector —
could invent a jacketed stent that gets rid of the need to take Plavix for life.
If YOU could invent such a stent, physicians would throw out:
i) bare metal stents, which have high chances of restenosis; and
ii) jacketed stents which cause embolism,
and switch to YOUR new jacketed stent.
If the doctor doesn’t like to throw things like stents out, the old stents can be recycled as Chinese hand cuffs for grasshopper legs so the children of the physicians can be amused by watching the grasshopper hop (or not hop) with their hopping legs encompassed by the stent.
For all those who are animal rights activists, I apologize. However I have not yet heard any opposition to placing heart stents on grasshopper legs; at least not to date. Please correct me if I am wrong.
OK, so this is Rabbi, Dr. Yosef Freedland, Surgeon, and Patent Attorney signing off just before YOU find out the best invention since Pepsi Cola.
Up Next: Post 3, Almighty willing.