Devicemaker St. Jude Medical Inc. said on Monday that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a plug to block blood vessels using a minimally invasive procedure.
The Little Canada-based company said it will immediately launch its Amplatzer Vascular Plug 4 for use in transcatheter embolization procedures. About 50,000 of the peripheral embolizations are performed each year in the United States, the company said.
It is the first vascular plug that can be delivered using a standard diagnostic catheter, offering a way to treat smaller and more difficult-to-access blood vessels using vascular plug technology, St. Jude said in a news release.
Vascular plugs assist physicians in quickly blocking or rerouting blood flow by closing abnormal blood vessels, the company said. Vascular occlusion lessens pressure on malformed, weakened or leaking blood vessels and reduces blood supply to benign or malignant tumors, the company said.
The current standard treatment for vascular occlusion involves placing several individually threaded coils through a catheter and packing them together to block blood flow, the company said.