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News1993June › Angioplasty: more hot air › June 1993

Angioplasty: more hot air

Yet more evidence has been found of the dubious long term benefits of angioplasty that supposed miracle cure, balloon inflating procedure touted as a less invasive method of treating constricted heart arteries

Yet more evidence has been found of the dubious long term benefits of angioplasty that supposed miracle cure, balloon inflating procedure touted as a less invasive method of treating constricted heart arteries.

A study of 1011 patients suffering from diseased coronary arteries found that those having coronary angioplasty were more likely to suffer from angina after treatment and more likely to need further medical intervention than those having the more invasive coronary artery bypass.

Recovery after a bypass operation takes longer, but once recovered, patients are more likely to stay well, the study researchers concluded. Six months after the operations, 32 per cent of angioplasty patients suffered from angina, compared to 11 per cent for bypass patients. At two years, the difference was 31 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

Two and a half years after treatment, 19 per cent of angioplasty patients had to undergo bypasses; and 12 per cent a further angioplasty. The re intervention rate for those originally having bypasses was 5 per cent. Some 62 per cent of angiograph patients and 89 per cent of bypass patients remained free from all major cardiac events and interventions two years after treatment.


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