“Heart Bypass Surgery and Angioplasty Re-evaluated”
In 2010, I informed you of the serious disconnect between “what doctors know and what patients understand,” when it comes to angioplasty and to heart bypass surgery. Angioplasty uses an inflated balloon to open a blocked artery, which can be followed by leaving a stent (an expanded mesh tube) in place to prop open the compromised artery and maintain blood flow. A September, 2010 article, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that “88% of stable patients who underwent angioplasty at a hospital in Massachusetts thought the procedure would reduce their risk of heart attack. And two-thirds (66%) of the patients didn’t even suffer the kind of pain that angioplasty would likely remedy.” Scientific studies suggested that angioplasty only reduces angina (cardiac-linked chest pain) in stable heart patients and does not reduce the risk of heart attack or death for these patients. In two new studies, it appears that many patients have placed false hope in angioplasty and in bypass surgery.