Study Questions Bypass Surgery
Marilynn Marchione, AP
New research casts doubt on the value of bypass surgery for many people with very weak hearts from clogged arteries and previous heart attacks. Doctors say the operation did not improve survival for those who already were taking medicines to control heart risks like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Clogged arteries cause about two-thirds of the six million cases of heart failure in the United States. The heart isn't getting enough blood and enlarges as it grows weaker from working too hard. Bypass has been advised for many of these people, but doctors say any benefit for them now appears small. The study was discussed Monday at a cardiology conference in New Orleans.