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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:00 AM

HC411R - Bypass Surgery vs. Angioplasty

Debra: This is Healthcare 411. A new study finds bypass surgery better than angioplasty at relieving chest pain from coronary artery diseaseMore next.


Narrator: Every year more than 15 million Americans have surgery. Most operations are not emergencies, which means that you’ll have time to learn about your operation and make certain it’s the best treatment for you. And you’ll have time to work with your surgeon to help make the surgery as safe as possible. Be active in your health care to ensure you receive quality care.

To find out more about important questions to ask before surgery, visit ahrq.gov/consumer. A message from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[End PSA]

Debra: This is Healthcare 411. For 15 million Americans affected by coronary artery disease, choosing a treatment is challenging.  But a new AHRQ-funded review of research may make it a little easier.

AHRQ’s supervisor of the review team, Dr. Art Sedrakyan

Sedrakyan:  The review found patients with coronary disease that needed intervention were more likely to get relief from angina, a type of chest pain, and less likely to need repeat procedures after coronary bypass surgery rather than balloon angioplasty with or without a stent.

Debra: Which coronary disease patients does this apply to?

Sedrakyan:  The study results apply to patients with preserved heart function and without extensive coronary disease.   This means they have a single artery blockage, blockage of two arteries, or some forms of less-severe blockage of three arteries.

Debra: What did your study find regarding survival rates?

Sedrakyan: Our study suggests that bypass surgery and angioplasty patients may have about the same survival rates but this needs to be studied further. Also, patients who choose bypass surgery have a slightly higher risk of having a stroke within 30 days of the procedure.

Debra: A summary of the study is posted in the Oct. 15th online version of Annals of Internal Medicine.

For more health care topics, go to healthcare411.org. I’m Debra James.  Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.




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