Forty years, one procedure, millions of lives saved
While heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., according the Centers for Disease Control, advances in medicine over the past 40 years have led to a substantial reduction in cardiovascular-related deaths.
This year, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) will be celebrate the 40th anniversary of coronary angioplasty, a procedure that revolutionized the way heart disease is treated and has since saved millions of lives around the world. This celebration will occur in conjunction with the Society's 40th anniversary at the SCAI 2017 Scientific Sessions (SCAI 2017) in New Orleans May 10-13.
"Heart disease is not the death sentence it used to be 40 years ago when one in four people who had a heart attack died," said SCAI President Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, MHCDS, MSCAI.
Angioplasty, a procedure that uses a small tube with a tiny balloon on the end to open a blocked heart artery, was performed on the very first patient in 1977, a 38-year-old man in Switzerland, who is still alive today. Prior to angioplasty, survivors of heart attacks often faced life-long disability and physical restrictions.
"Angioplasty has been a game changer in the medical field," said Rosenfield. "It is a minimally invasive procedure that can help prevent heart attacks, has a high success rate and has a relatively quick recovery time. Many patients are able to leave the hospital the next day and return to work and their normal activities a few days later."
SCAI 2017 will host a special panel presentation in New Orleans bringing together some of the specialty's most iconic figures to discuss medical innovations and the impact of interventional and invasive cardiology over the past four decades.
"Medicine is about always moving forward, and researchers are continually working on ways to improve current angioplasty practices," said Christopher White, MD, MSCAI, an interventional cardiologist at Ochsner Medical Center who will moderate the panel discussion.
"In the last decade and half, we've seen revolutionary changes," continued White. "We've gone from FDA approval in 1994 of metal stents, which were designed to address the problem of sudden collapse of an artery, to drug-coated stents in 2003 and, more recently, to the first fully absorbable stent, which was approved by the FDA last year. When we look ahead to the future of angioplasty, I'm excited about the positive impact it could have for people's lives."
In addition to angioplasty, SCAI 2017 will bring together world-renown experts who can talk about a range of topics, including:
- Structural heart disease interventions
- Complex coronary artery disease treatment
- Cardio-oncology, pediatrics and other vulnerable populations
- High-risk percutaneous coronary intervention
- Innovative device technologies