Stent Surgery Unnecessary & Heart Health | Natural Health Blog

Date: 03/13/2012    Written by: Beth Levine

Stents Are Unnecessary for Many Heart Patients

Most people diagnosed with heart disease try to find a cardiologist they can trust since they are placing their health in this person's hands.  But perhaps that trust is not warranted. A new study shows that even the best heart surgeons are frequently doing their patients a disservice by performing stents that are of no benefit to those with stable heart conditions.  In fact, according to the research, two-thirds of these procedures are undergone needlessly.

The study, which took place at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York, focused on eight clinical trials that took place between 1997 and 2005.1  The researchers examined the treatment and results for 7,229 patients who had stable forms of heart disease such as stable angina, which presents as chest pain that appears upon exertion, or an asymptomatic narrowing of the arteries.  Approximately half of these patients were treated with medication, and the other half were medicated as well as given stents.

The researchers then analyzed the follow-up health care of these patients for several years and found that those who had been treated with stents experienced no fewer occurrences of death, non-fatal heart attacks, chest pains, or emergency bypass procedures than their peers who had received only medication.  They determined that surgery could be prevented in as many as three-quarters of those who have stable heart disease if medication was provided from the onset of the condition. (It's probably worth mentioning that the researchers seem to be unaware that previous studies have shown that perhaps even the medication itself isn't really needed…unless the patient has already had a heart attack.)

Stents are surgically inserted to hold blocked coronary arteries open.  Angioplasty involves using a balloon to clear the blockage in an artery and keep it open.  These are standard first line of defense therapies provided with or without medication to those with heart disease, but now it seems they may be causing many people to undergo procedures that are expensive, risky, and that are really not needed.

When going through all of the data and looking at the patients who only received medication, the researchers determined that two-thirds of them had no further symptoms and needed no further treatment.  In only one-third of the cases were the medications insufficient to alleviate symptoms, making a stenting procedure necessary.

According to information from the American Heart Association, there are more than 400,000 stents placed in patients with stable heart disease annually. That's a heck of a lot of potentially unnecessary surgeries, and a lot of extra money spent in an already overburdened healthcare system.  And yet another recent study found that more than half of these angioplasties and stentings in stable patients were performed before any medications were even tried.3

Jon Barron has written numerous times about all of the unproven practices that take place within the confines of conventional medicine, including the lack of proof that angioplasty benefits many patients.  In fact, in a recent newsletter, he cites three different studies that all came to virtually the same conclusion: that using angioplasty to open blocked arteries and treat chest pain or angina may be riskier and no more beneficial than medication.4  So, you would think that with all this evidence piling up, the procedure would be eliminated or at least severely curtailed in use.

However, that's not the case at all.  The reduction in angioplasty surgery since the evidence of its ineffectiveness was first published amounts to a mere 10 to 15 percent drop from its peak.  Astoundingly, the medical community has responded not by decreasing the number of angioplasties, but by decreasing the amount of time required to get one once you're admitted to the hospital -- essentially rushing you into an unnecessary major procedure. That's certainly one way to respond to the data.

Ultimately, it comes down to always being your own advocate for all things medical.  If you are given a diagnosis of stable heart disease -- or any diagnosis, for that matter -- it's really up to you to start doing your research.  Don't just listen to the recommendation of your doctor, no matter how well regarded he or she is in the field.  You need to read up on your condition and any suggested treatments before you consent to them because you don't want to end up in the hospital (which carries its own set of risks) unless it becomes absolutely necessary to your health.

 

1 Boyles, Salynn. "Stents Overused in Stable Heart Patients." WebMD. 27 February 2012.  Accessed 4 March 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20120227/stents-overused-stable-heart-patients>.

2 "What is a Stent?" American Heart Association. 21 June 2011.  Accessed 4 March 2012. <http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/What-Is-a-Stent_UCM_309002_Article.jsp#.T1ZtwRzssg0>.

3 Sayburn, Anna. "Are heart patients having unnecessary surgery?" Consumer Reports. 17 May 2011. Accessed 4 March 2012. <http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2011/05/are-heart-patients-having-unnecessary-surgery.html>.

4 The BARI 2D Study Group. "A Randomized Trial of Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease." N Engl J Med 2009; 360:2503-2515. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0805796.

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Comments

  •  
    Submitted by Harald on
    April 6, 2012 - 11:31pm

    Hi Jon. I'm not surprised, that these studies were useless to understand heart attacks, because they originate from a flooding of the heartbeat center in the brain. This is located on the right frontal hemisphere of the Cerebral Cortex. Here is the scenario: When a right handed male (or a right handed female 'on the pill' or past menopause) suffers a 'territorial loss Biological conflict, the brain receives a DHS (a lesion by the psyche to start ulcerating the aorta to the heart, in an effort to increase the inside diameter of it for increased blood flow to enable a "winning back" of said territory). When this Biological conflict gets resolved, the ulceration in the aorta heals and at the same time the lesion in the brain also starts to heal, using fluid, inflammation, swelling and, of course "building material" in the form of glia cells. This healing phase has in its 'time center' a healing crisis, where the body is testing the veracity of the healing progress, which also squeezes out the brain edema that had formed. If the Biological Conflict lasted 9 months or more, the resulting flooding is so extensive, that the signal from the heartbeat center is no longer able to keep the heart beating and then the heart attack is fatal. However, if a knowledgeable physician knows about the territorial loss conflict, the resolution and the timing of all of this, he can anticipate the heart attack and stand by with equipment and medication to help the patient keep his heart beating artificially and the blood supplied with oxygen long enough to have the edema fluid in the brain dissipate and the heartbeat signal will again keep the heart beating. The healing of the aorta needs to take place while blood is flowing through it and it therefore has to be covered up with a temporary covering involving among other things, cholesterol, and that is the reason for the partial "blockages" found there, but they will also heal in time. 

  •  
    Submitted by David on
    April 5, 2012 - 8:56pm

    Hi

    I wonder if you can help me with advice. I have some heart pain symptoms, especially at rest while when I am running or walking I feel excellent. The cardiologist dismissed me as no heart disease but an iridologist looked into my eyes and said that I have a genetic underlying inflammation of the heart which is not fully activated while I don't have clogged arteries. I do have some palpitations and funny shortness of breath sometimes at low activity but none of it when I walk up the hill or jog. I get very cold ankles and feet sometimes

    Is it possible to have a heart inflammation from other reason that arterial plaque and how to self treat it?

    Thank you in advance I am 62 this year.

    David

  •  
    Submitted by DR PREMANIDHI PANDA,M.D(MED),MRCP,FRCP on
    July 31, 2012 - 5:17pm

    Definitly Stenting is an unneccssary procedure.
    Two case study was being done in one is a Police Habildar & Another Retired Principal of a college Both are having Hypertesion & Known case of Diabetes Mellitus came with Acute AMI ECG,reveals AMI,TROP-T in the both case was POSITIVE,CK-MB was 800-900ng/ml.Both have been advised for Stenting procedure by the cardiologist, They come to me .From our centre I advised for acute AMI Treatment & compleate bed rest as usal along with My Zero rice,Zero oil & Belly exercise. Periodically check-up was being done.ECG was normal in both the cases .All enzyme level normal within Seven days. But with my maneuver Cardiac CT Ca score in one case was “ZERO”.But with Mr S was 37 after one year. Since three years Both are leading normal Active life. Keeping the blood sugar & BP within normal level.
    ABOUT DRPANDAS WAYS FOR LONG LIFE ZERO RICE,ZERO OIL & BELLY EXERCISE:-
    Intent of the study done from 1995 to 2006 over a period of 10years over 3000Cases of Both Type-I & Type –II shows a marvelous result that Restriction of Rice to Zero and Little or Zero Oil (EXCEPT CONSUMPTION EFA OIL)Consumption with Belly Exercise gives a dramatic effect not only Controlling diabetes but also reduction and reverse of ECG pattern in Diabetes with IHD OR Acute Myocardial Infarction.
    ZERO RICE:- Rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake,There are two types of rice.One is polished and another is unpolished rice. Since polished rice lack of Vitamin B1,B2,B6,B12 thus increases the homocystine level thus increase in triglyceride level.Thus there is much Cardiovascular risk factor.Though Diabetes is linked in cardiovascular events.This polished rice increases the risk of Coronary artery disease thus the heart attack.Twenty years back “Heart attack was the royal kind of death”.Means who those are rich.But it is prevalent now in poors.It is only due to heavy consumption of polished rice.
    ZERO OIL:

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