Entries in Bypass Surgery (4)


Doctors Investing in High-End Equipment Order More Tests: Study

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(DURHAM, N.C.) -- A new study conducted by the Duke University Medical Center suggests doctors who buy high-end equipment are more likely to order and bill for unnecessary heart tests.

In the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers say doctors who invested in their own medical equipment were more than twice as likely as other doctors to order a follow-up nuclear stress test for patients recovering from angioplasty or bypass surgery. Additionally, the study found doctors were more than seven times as likely to order a stress echocardiography than doctors who did not bill for the equipment fees.

In each instance, the study said the further testing is generally not necessary in the first few years after the surgeries are performed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Happy Marriage Triples Bypass Survival

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A happy marriage lengthens the lives of cardiac bypass patients, according to researchers who suggest that supportive spouses can provide encouragement to make it through tough lifestyle changes.

In a key indication that marriage influences long-term survival, the researchers found that 15 years after having clogged arteries replaced with grafted vessels, happily wedded patients were more than three times likelier to be alive than those who were widowed, divorced, separated or single.

However, the magnitude of that marriage bonus differed along gender lines.  Men who underwent bypass surgery lived longer by virtue of simply being married, regardless of how happy or miserable the union.

Women's survival after the surgery depended more on the quality of the marriage.  Happily married women were nearly four times likelier to be alive at the 15-year mark than those who were going it alone.  But an unhappy marriage didn't do much to help women live longer after bypass surgery, according to the study led by Kathleen King, an emeritus nursing professor at the University of Rochester in New York.

"The most dramatic thing to me is [that] just being married, especially if you had a happy marriage, had that big an effect 15 years later," King told ABC News.

Having a husband or wife might make heart patients more likely to take steps to improve their health, giving them "a salient 'reason to live,'" King and her colleagues wrote in the study that was published online Monday in the journal Health Psychology.

King said that for purposes of the study, researchers counted the small number of patients with "significant others" as married.  She believes that the beneficial effect of marriage stems from the close connection to another person, and that "it's not whether or not they're married; it's whether or not they have somebody there with them."

The findings reinforce previous studies linking marital satisfaction to slower development of cardiovascular disease, and others that found that couples with lower levels of hostility in their marriages had lower levels of the inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.

The researchers tracked 225 University of Rochester heart patients following cardiac bypass.  Fifteen years later, 124 were still alive.  Most of the patients, who ranged in age from 33 to 80, were white.  Nearly 77 percent were men.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bypass Surgeries in US Decrease from 2001 to 2008

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that while the rate of bypass surgeries decreased by more than 30 percent from 2001 to 2008, the rates of angioplasty remained the same. Researchers say that these findings could be credited to improved preventive treatments for cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as better stents.

Artery bypass and angioplasty, a procedure that restores blood flow through a blocked artery, are the two most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system to fix blood flow blockage in the heart.

The researchers’ findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heart Patients Recover Equally Well with Bypass Surgery, Stents 

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Findings from a new study suggest that whether one has heart bypass surgery or undergoes a less-invasive procedure in which medicated stents are used to open clogged arteries, cardiac patients may manage their recovery similarly.

"The degree of symptom relief is very comparable," said study author Dr. David Cohen, director of cardiovascular research at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. 

Patients can feel comfortable with whatever option they choose. However HealthDay News notes that the most severe cases fare better with bypass surgery, despite the quick recovery time of the stent procedure.

Dr. Kirk N. Garratt of the Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute in New York City commented that most patients, about 90 percent, "do just fine" taking medication for arterial blockage, but surgery is necessary for other cardiac care patients.

Garratt said that with bypass surgery, the body may try to heal itself, thereby causing post-op scar tissue to form, which can be harmful.  This is one reason the stent procedure has become the preferable option -- the stents are coated with a drug that can help to prevent this scar tissue from forming.

The study, which followed up with 1,800 heart patients who underwent bypass surgery or the stent prodecure, showed that 76 percent of bypass patients had no chest pain within a year after the operation, while 72 percent of stent patients said the same.

While neither procedure can guarantee a longer life for heart patients, Garratt said both do improve quality of life.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio