Patients with multiple clogged arteries are better off getting bypass surgery than a stent, a study found.
The analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, isn't likely to settle the dispute between cardiac surgeons, who perform bypasses, and the interventional cardiologists who implant stents. But it gives further ammunition to those who argue that stents -- metal scaffolds that keep arteries propped open -- are overused.
Both procedures fall under the umbrella of revascularization -- attempts to relieve chest pain by opening up arteries clogged by heart disease. In the most severe cases, revascularization has also been shown to reduce heart attacks and deaths.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
KEITH J. WINSTEIN writes: