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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Do You Really Need Heart Surgery?

Up to 30% for surgical procedures in the US are unnecessary. Each year, more than 1 million heart patients are treated with angioplasty and stents which restore normal circulation to the heart and reduce angina pain.

The problem is that angioplasty and stents are overused. A study of more that 2,300 patients by the American College of  Cardiology found that patients with stable angina that were treated with  medications like nitroglycerine had the same outcome  of those treated with invasive procedure of stents.

Who is helped by stents: People with unstable agina, people with a significant blockage in the left main coronary artery, or with three coronary arteries blocked and weakened heart muscle. People with stable angina should be treated with medications to control pain , reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

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