Comparing Heart Bypass Surgery With Stents

Armen Hareyan's picture

Patients with clogged arteries are usually offered two treatment options - bypass surgery and drug stents. New research suggests that bypass is better than stents.

European researchers examined 3000 heart patients. Patients with heart attack were excluded and patients with vessel blockage were included. About 1/3 of participants required a surgery, while 2/3 of participants were offered to choose between bypass surgery or drug stent. Later, researchers looked at the difference between the groups who received different treatments.


Those who received angioplasty, needed about 5 stents and reported death rate of 4.3%, while patients who underwent a surgery reported 3.5% death rate. Moreover, stents patients reported 14% cases when a repeated procedure was needed, while surgery patients reported only 6% of such cases.

On the other hand, surgery patients reported 2% stroke risk, while stent patients did not report any risk. Also, it should be noted that for surgery patients it takes more than a month to recover, while for stent patients it takes only 3 days.

Taking into consideration all pluses and minuses of both treatment methods, researchers concluded that bypass surgery is better that drug stents, because the first methods makes you healthy for a longer while, while the second method will need repeated sessions. However, more and larger studies are needed to give a better conclusion. Heinz Drexel, professor of medicine at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, said: "This only tells us what happens after one year. We need to wait for at least five years to get a good answer about which therapy is really better."