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Coronary Bypass Or Stents, Which One To Choose?

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:46pm

When a person is diagnosed with blockages in the coronary arteries, there is always a dilemma to face. Should he or she undergo bypass operation or choose the drug-eluting stents? This is certainly not an easy decision to make!

A group of researchers from the State University of New York, Rensselaer published their findings in the January 2008’s New England Journal of Medicine. In the paper, they indicated that patients with several blockages in their coronary arteries should choose to undergo bypass grafting instead of having the new generation of drug-eluting stents inserted because the mortality rates are lower.

The study compared outcomes of nearly 10,000 patients with multiple coronary lesions who were treated with drug-eluting stents and almost 7500 similar patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting.

After adjusting the presence of other illnesses, the chances that patients who died within 18 months were approximately 25 percent lower for those with the coronary bypass operation than those with insertion of drug-eluting stents. Estimated rates of heart attacks and need for another procedure also ranked bypass grafting higher than stenting.

The results more or less confirm that coronary artery bypass grafting remains the standard for car for patients who require clearing multiple coronary blockages. However, stents may still be an alternative for patients who are at high risk for surgical complications, or when the patient chooses a less invasive option instead.
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