BYPASS OR STENT?
ANCHOR LEAD: MORE PEOPLE ARE OPTING FOR STENTS TO OPEN BLOCKED ARTERIES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
More and more stents are being placed in arteries that supply the heart, and fewer and fewer bypass surgeries are being performed. That’s according to the latest data from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Rick Lange, chief of clinical cardiology at Johns Hopkins, says decisions should be made carefully.
LANGE: Both procedures, that is bypass surgery and angioplasty, have both risks and benefits, and ideally what you’d like to use is what’s called ‘evidence based medicine,’ that is, studies that show that one particular revascularization procedure is better or worse than the other. For example, we know that in diabetics, that have multiple arteries involved, bypass surgery is probably the preferable procedure. In individuals that have one or two blockages, angioplasty or stenting may be the preferable procedure. So the important thing is to use the evidence that we have to target individuals to have the right revascularization procedure. :32
I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.