Do You Really Need a Stent or Bypass Surgery? New Study Disagrees

Researchers have found that consistent medication and improved lifestyle could work just as well as getting a bypass or a stent surgery to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

The trial was conducted by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Stanford University on a sample of 50,000 patients and was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions conference over the weekend.

Also Read: Indian-Made Stents Safe, Effective: Lancet Study

The researchers emphasised that while stents did improve the quality of life of the patients by minimising symptoms, by no means do they reduce the risk of future heart attacks or stroke.

Dr. Tara Narula, CBS medical contributor.“The stent and bypass group may not be associated with longer life or survival. However, the group that was revascularized and got stents or bypass had a better quality of life and reduced symptoms so they may feel better.”

Furthermore, it does not guarantee indefinite relief from the symptoms as the possibility of developing new blockages in the same artery or a different artery still stands.

Several studies in the past have also indicated that stents and bypass are overused, but doctors have often dismissed them as inconclusive. The findings of this study, however, may make it to guidelines set by American Heart Association.

For e.g., the number of deaths among those who had stents or bypass was 145, compared to 144 among the patients who received medication alone. The number of heart attacks was at 276 in the stent and bypass group, compared with 314 in the medication group.

The findings of this research are particularly significant considering that cardiovascular diseases are some of the leading causes for deaths in India.

India is home to 40% of the heart failure cases of the world, reported Times of India.

The rise of cardio vascular diseases has in the past few years catapulted the coronary stent market shares in India.

Although the government put a cap on the stent prices in 2017, cost of angioplasty procedures continue to be exorbitant.

The result of the study would mean that patients who were forced to undergo the expensive procedures may not actually need them and that they could get the same results through cheaper alternatives.

(Written with inputs from CBS News and Times of India)

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