Angioplasty may not boost survival for some patients

If you or someone you love has had an angioplasty — where a balloon or stent is inserted into a narrowing artery — you’ve probably heard how fortunate you are.

How thankful you should be that the problem was caught in time — and how it may even help you avoid a life-threatening heart attack.

But there’s one important fact about angioplasties that most surgeons will never tell you before they wheel you in for the procedure.

There’s a good chance you’re risking your health for nothing. And that angioplasty may not add a single day to your life.

According to research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, angioplasty in non-emergency settings are often about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

For the 15-year study, researchers looked at the long-term survival of 1,200 people with fairly stable heart disease and chest pain. Half of them got angioplasties, and half just took medicine and committed to lifestyle changes.

The study found that the survival rate wasn’t any higher among the angioplasty patients. This supposedly “life-saving” procedure wasn’t saving lives among non-emergency patients at all.

And while lots of doctors will make angioplasties sound like a routine procedure, the fact is that they can come with serious risks like internal bleeding and even blood clots.

This research needs to be a wake-up call for heart patients and their doctors. Because of the 1 million angioplasties done each year, about half are elective.

If you or someone you love has one scheduled, it makes sense to get a second opinion. You may be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble — and preventing serious health complications — down the road.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing
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Sources:

Angioplasty may not boost survival for some heart disease patients, mlm.nih.gov

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