July 14, 2016

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Becomes First Hospital in New England to Implant Dissolvable Heart Stent


Dr. Carrozza image


Brighton, MASt. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a Steward Health Care family hospital, this Wednesday became the first hospital in New England to implant a newly-FDA-approved fully dissolving heart stent that is designed to disappear in the body within 36 months, in an exciting advancement in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). The new stent has the potential to reduce risk to the patient from complications from traditional metal stents.

“This new technology leaves nothing in the artery and is a development that reduces risk to the patient. There is no risk of a late blood clot forming inside of the stent, which allows the vessel to grow back to its regular size,” said Dr. Joseph Carrozza, Chief of the Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, who performed the first procedure in New England using this technology. “The traditional metal stent eliminates the possibility of bypass surgery should the patient need it. With the new device, you leave the door open to a future bypass, if one becomes necessary, because the stent dissolves.”

Coronary artery disease affects an estimated 15 million people in the United States. The Absorb stent, developed by Abbott Laboratories, was approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration on July 5, 2016 after years of clinical research and trials, which St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center participated in. As a first-of-its-kind innovation, Absorb offers immediate relief from coronary artery disease symptoms like a traditional metal stent with the added long-term benefit of dissolving completely in approximately three years. 

“It’s the next generation of treatment for coronary artery disease,” said Dr. Carrozza, who was also the first cardiologist in New England to use CorPath Angioplasty, a robotic-assisted angioplasty system, to place a stent in coronary arteries to treat heart conditions, in the fall of 2012. “It’s been a 25-year-evolution of treating coronary heart disease. Going back to the days with balloon angioplasty and drug-eluting stents. Now, we’re entering the age of drug dissolving stents.”

Dr. Carrozza is Vice President of the Steward Health Care Cardiovascular Network and a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Carrozza leads the St. Elizabeth’s Cardiology and Vascular Medicine Center. This year, Healthgrades ranked St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center among the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for cardiac services.

Prior to performing this new state-of-the-art dissolvable stent procedure, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center was also the first in New England to pioneer Lutonix 035 Drug Coated Balloon PTA Catheter, a device to treat patients with peripheral artery disease, in the fall of 2014, in addition to Carrozza’s pioneering work with the CorPath Angioplasty robotic-assisted system.

“It is exciting to be the first hospital in New England to implement this breakthrough in cardiac care for the benefit of our patients,” said Beth Hughes, President of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. “St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center provides a wide range of advanced, cutting-edge technology and procedures for our patients. We are proud of the high quality patient care we provide and will continue to be at the forefront in advancements for the treatment of heart disease.”

Coronary Artery Disease is the most common type of heart disease according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Click here for access to video resources regarding the Absorb stent, including an animation of how the new technology works.

Media Contacts

Dr. Joseph Carrozza, who has performed the first dissolvable heart stent procedure in New England, is available for media interviews. Contact Jeff Hall (617-419-4773, [email protected]) or Joy Chen (617-419-4780, [email protected]) for scheduling.


About St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center is a 267-bed hospital located in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. St. Elizabeth’s is affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Areas of medical excellence include vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiology, neurosciences, general and robotic surgery, bariatric surgery, women’s health, high-risk obstetrics, bone and joint health, hematology/oncology, pulmonary medicine and emergency medicine. St. Elizabeth’s is a member of Steward Health Care, which is the second largest health care system in New England. Visit St. Elizabeth’s online at

 About Steward Health Care

Steward Health Care is the largest fully integrated healthcare services organization and community hospital network in New England. Headquartered in Boston, Steward is the fourth largest employer in MA with more than 17,000 employees in more than 150 communities. Steward is comprised of Steward Medical Group, Steward Health Care Network, and Steward Hospital Group. Steward Medical Group provides approximately 1 million patient encounters per year in 152 sites and manages homecare and hospice with 300,000 and 35,000 encounters respectively. Steward Health Care Network, a fully integrated care management company, has 3,000 physicians, with approximately 4 million patient encounters per year and affiliates or joint ventures with approximately 30 urgent care centers. Steward’s Hospital Group includes Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill and Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, and New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton. Additional information is available at