March 17, 2011

Stents or Bypass? New Study Says They Are Equal One Year Later

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, Helpful Heart Links, New Heart Studies, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:34 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

Three coronary artery bypass grafts, a LIMA to...

Image via Wikipedia

WebMD took a closer look at a new study comparing the benefits of stenting vs. bypass.

Well-informed patients with heart disease will certainly find this new WebMD article interesting.  Patients who undergo Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) frequently ask the question, “Why did I have to get bypass instead of stents?”  Alternately, people with stents frequently wonder how they dodged the bullet by avoiding bypass.  Many more people may be dodging the bullet in the future thanks to this new study and the continual improvement in stenting procedures.

Several years ago, the decision for bypass was made whenever someone had more than 3 blocked arteries OR a significant blockage in the heart’s main artery (called the left main).  In the study, a group of 1800 patients who traditionally might have all gone on to bypass surgery were split into 2 groups: approximately half went ahead with bypass while the other half underwent stenting instead.  The results showed the 2 groups felt similar improvement after 1 year. In addition, the rate of heart attacks or death were about the same for both groups after one year.

There were some differences noted though when you look closely. People who got stents felt better much quicker and had a faster recovery than those who had bypass.  On the other hand, people with stents were more likely to need another stenting procedure within the first year.  Also, people who had daily or weekly chest pain prior to their procedure felt more relief of their chest pain with bypass surgery by 6 months out.

While this study may lead to more stents and fewer open heart surgeries, it won’t be making bypass extinct anytime soon.  Many patients dread the idea of bypass surgery but if you have 3 or more blocked arteries AND you get chest pain at least once a week, bypass will still be highly recommended.

Read more about the study at WebMD’s article which is listed below:

September 25, 2010

The Most Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, Helpful Heart Links, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:21 am by keepyourhearthealthy

photo by jscreationzs

Aortic Stenosis Fixed With A Poke Of The Needle?

From my earlier post you will see that there have been several new advances reported this week in cardiology.  The biggest one by far is a study called TAVI or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.  This new study has reported some great results with implanting a brand new aortic valve through a simple needlestick during a heart catheterization.

As people get older, the aortic valve frequently becomes hard and narrowed.  This condition is called aortic stenosis.  Aortic stenosis is considered severe when the valve area is less than 1cm².  Greater than 4% of patients over age 85 have aortic stenosis but unfortunately they are considered a poor candidate for traditional open heart surgery to replace the valve by that age. A recent option for older patients has been balloon angioplasty of the valve by heart catheterization but this gives poor results and adds less than a year of optimal results.

The new TAVI study has shown that a prosthetic aortic valve can actually be placed safely over the old, hardened valve by a simple needlestick during heart catheterization.  The results of the study show significant improvement in valve function and much fewer deaths one year after the procedure.  To see a video of this type of procedure, check out the following link:

http://wn.com/Edwards_Sapien_Transcatheter_Heart_Valve