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Boston Scientific states percutaneous coronary intervention is more cost effective than coronary artery bypass

Posted Mar 29 2009 3:49pm

I think we can all somewhat figure this out, but there are cases to where open heart surgery may the answer.  A short while back with my interview with Dr. Muhs, who is  the principal investigator on all of the endovascular trials conducted in the Section of Vascular Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, I learned quite a bit. 

Each patient is different and thus each treatment plan for surgery is unique.  When devices are implanted via a catheter, yes it is less expensive but there is a trade off for the patient with follow up visits, to ensure the devices is still functioning properly and has not slipped or moved.  With traditional open heart surgery, once the procedure is completed and the patient has healed, you are pretty much done, in other words the visits to the surgeon down the road as required with devices don’t exist.  Of course, follow up for overall healthcare is still very much in the picture and a patient would be doing that anyway.  The interview with Dr. Muhs was focused on aneurisms, treated via catheters.  

Some patients may not be able to sustain a full open heart procedure, thus treatment via catheter can be a life saving alternative. 

Interview with Bart E. Muhs, M.D., Yale School of Medicine – Aneurysm Repair Surgery

http://yalesurgery.med.yale.edu/faculty/muhs.html

I have to admit, this is nice to actually hear it straight from the surgeons involved in the treatment and research versus advertising, as you get the straight story on how both procedures work and what the long term effects and results are that a patient can expect.  BD 

Saturday, drug maker Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX:News) said, based on one-year data from its SYNTAX trial, that percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, was more cost effective than coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG, in patients with low or moderate coronary lesion complexity.
The overall cost effectiveness of PCI versus CABG surgery varied according to patient characteristics, while CABG was more cost effective than PCI in those with the most complex disease. The results also found that both PCI and CABG improved several quality of life measures.

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