New research has revealed that patients with blocked arteries do not need bypass surgery or stents to feel better.
The findings of the research which was discussed at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association raised doubts about the bypass or stenting procedure that many medical professionals recommend for fixing blocked arteries. The research revealed that heart disease patients who had to undergo bypass surgery or stents to unblock the arteries are more likely to experience heart attacks or death than those who received drug therapy alone.
While bypass surgeries and stenting procedures were revealed to bring relief to some patients with angina, the finding of the research says that these procedures are often unnecessary for patients with blocked coronary arteries as there is a safer alternative to fixing a blockage. Director of Cath Lab and Interventional Cardiology at Boston University, Dr. Alice Jacobs opines that the new study will change the thinking of medical experts. “You would think that the patient will feel or do better when you fix the blockage …this study will certainly challenge our clinical thinking,” she said
This is not the first study on the use of stents and bypass surgeries for blocked arteries. The previous study, however, only suggested that stents and bypass surgeries are overused and this did not stop doctors from using it. In fact, many medical professionals said that the research was inconclusive and that the trial design was wrong.
The new research which is called Ischemia was carried out to examine the benefits of stents and bypass surgeries. The large federal study had a rigorous trial design and is the first to include the powerful drug regimens used by doctors today. Ischemia had 5,179 participants who were closely monitored throughout the trial period and all the patients had moderate to acute blockages in coronary arteries. Director of cardiac care at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Glenn Levine describes the study as an extraordinarily important trial. He added that the findings will be incorporated into treatment guidelines.