Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bypass surgery a safer option than stents for diabetics with clogged arteries

Bypass surgery a safer option than stents for diabetics with clogged arteriesA new study suggests that bypass surgery is a better option for opening blocked cardiac arteries than inserting a stent if the patient is a diabetic. The study found that diabetics who had bypass surgery were about 33 per cent more likely to be alive five years later than those who underwent a procedure to have the blockage opened with a stent. In recent years, the number of cardiac bypass surgeries has declined as doctors have opted for the less invasive stenting procedure, where a tiny tube is threaded into place in the artery from a small incision in the patient's groin. But questions have remained about whether stents are a good option for diabetics, who often have more blockages than other patients. This study, which was led by doctors at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, pooled data from eight clinical trials to try to answer the question. The authors say the substantial survival advantage of bypass surgery suggests it should be strongly considered for diabetics needing artery-opening procedures. "It is a pretty significant effect. And it is kind of startling to think that there's still some debate about this when results like these kinds of significant differences are coming out," said Dr. David Latter, a cardiac surgeon and one of the authors of the study

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