Baptist Health first in region to use Synergy Megatron stent for high-risk heart procedure

Baptist Health of Northeast Florida is the first hospital in the region to use a tiny surgical tool with a superhero-like name.

Jacksonville, FL

Baptist Heart Specialists' Salil Patel, MD, FACC, cardiologist, has performed the first procedure in Northeast Florida using Boston Scientific's Synergy Megatron stent during a recent coronary procedure to eliminate blockages in a patient's heart.

While stents are a common tool in this type of procedure, the Synergy Megatron stent is the first to be purpose-built for large, proximal vessels---those that are closest to the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of the body.  These heart arteries present challenges because they are often calcified, can vary in size in some places, and are more "stiff" than other arteries.

In the past, patients with blocked arteries might need bypass surgery, which is more invasive and requires more recovery time. Cardiologists are now able to use stents in some of these patients.  This new advanced stent is ideal for complex catheter-based cardiac revascularization procedures, which are procedures used to widen blocked or narrowed arteries. These type of procedures are less invasive and allow patients to leave the hospital sooner and heal faster.

Saundra Martin was the first patient in Northeast Florida to receive the Synergy Megatron stent. She first came to Baptist Medical Center Beaches with shortness of breath and heart pain, where it was determined she had a small heart attack. Further diagnosis showed severe blockage in the main artery and the two major arteries branching from the main artery. This Y-shaped blockage is more challenging to treat. Her heart function was declining rapidly, and she reached a point where she was no longer a candidate for heart surgery. Dr. Patel felt the team at Baptist Heart Hospital could safely treat her with a complex stent procedure, and with this new stent, the outcome would be positive.

"Mrs. Martin was out of options. She was declining fast," said Dr. Patel. "We reviewed all the treatment options available and felt we could be successful [with this stent]."

He first used a rotoblator (a drill that breaks up calcium in the arteries) and a Shockwave balloon (a balloon that uses sound waves to crack calcium in the arteries) to clear the area before placing the Synergy Megatron stent in one of the arteries.

He chose to use the Synergy Megatron because of its design, which makes it stronger and allows it to adjust to the varied sizes within the artery. In addition, its material is a proprietary platinum aluminum chromium alloy that makes it more visible on angiography, which is a type of X-ray used to check blood vessels.

Martin's procedure went well, and she has returned to her normal activities such as walking, playing Bingo, and visiting with her grandchildren.

Dr. Patel said, "Baptist Heart Specialists offers patients complex, life-saving procedures through a multidisciplinary collaborative approach. We are proud to lead the way in the region with the use of this new stent."

Baptist Heart Hospital is Northeast Florida's only freestanding hospital for heart and vascular care and is the centerpiece of Baptist Health's top-ranked heart and vascular program. It is home to more than 500 team members and physicians who have specialized inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular and thoracic care training.