(Editor's note: the following is a press release from Piedmont Hospital.)
Tom Gosdin, 30-year Eastside Medical Center employee, had been suffering from chest pains when he came to Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) Eastside for a cardiac catheterization. After reviewing his test results, doctors determined Gosdin was a candidate for a new left main coronary artery trial.
“The result of the test was an 80% block of the left main artery commonly called the ‘Widow Maker,’” said Gosdin. “The preferred choice of treatment for the ‘Widow Maker’ was open heart by-pass. In the new study, if I was selected, there was a 50/50 chance that I would receive a stent instead of being opened up for surgery, which would require a long hospital stay along with approximately three months of recovery.”
After consulting with his cardiologist Laurence Lesser, M.D., and Piedmont Heart’s Nicholas Lembo, M.D., Gosdin decided to participate in the trial and was transported to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, where he was randomly selected for a new procedure which got him a stent.
Recently, stenting has emerged as a safe alternative to open heart surgery for the treatment of left main disease. Stents are hollow, flexible metal mesh tubes, which are placed inside the left main coronary artery to keep it open. Some stents are coated with a drug (“drug-coated stents”) while others are not (“uncoated stents”). Studies in recent years show that drug-coated stents may be better at decreasing the heart arteries re-narrowing compared to uncoated stents.
“The purpose of this trial is to see if XIENCE PRIME and XIENCE V stents are safe and effective treatments for the narrowing of the left main heart artery when compared to open heart surgery,” said Dr. Lembo. “People participating in the study are randomly selected for the open heart surgery or the stenting. In Tom’s case, he was selected for the new procedure and was on his way home from the hospital in a few days.”
Gosdin was released from Piedmont Atlanta on Thursday, June 14 and says he was ready to return to work the very next day. His doctors, however, asked him to take it easy, enjoy the weekend and return to work on Monday.
“My life was on the line,” said Gosdin. “The only reason I am still here today is because of the treatment I received from these very qualified people.”