Saturday, February 24, 2007
Article in the New York Times -- In the Stent Era, Heart Bypasses Get a New Look, by Barnaby J. Feder. Here's an excerpt:
After more than a decade-long decline, is heart bypass surgery poised for a comeback?
Some doctors say it may be time to give bypass operations a second look. They include even some cardiologists who specialize in the far more popular alternative — using stents to keep coronary arteries open.
No one is predicting a sudden surge back to bypass, which is still a far more invasive and initially riskier way to treat plaque-clogged heart arteries, a condition that afflicts millions of Americans.
But in light of new safety concerns over the long-term risks of stents, as well as accumulating data indicating that the sickest heart patients may live longer if they receive bypass surgery instead, some well-known stent specialists say the pendulum may have swung too far away from bypass surgery.