Many patients have declined percutaneous coronary intervention (ballooning & stenting) procedures to relieve their chest pain caused by severe blockages of the coronary (heart) arteries as they do not want something permanent implanted in their body which may result in future complications.
Their fears are not unfounded.
Having a metal frame embedded in the artery has long-term disadvantages; notably, incomplete healing of the artery walls resulting in a chronic inflammatory state that can increase the risk of stent thrombosis (clotting) and a heart attack. Permanent stents can also impair the heart artery’s ability to relax and expand with exercise and hamper future imaging, re-intervention or heart surgery.
Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) is the latest advance in treatment of heart blockages, whereby a non-metallic mesh tube is used to treat a narrowed heart artery, similar to a metal stent, but slowly dissolves once the blocked artery can function naturally again and stay open on its own.