Researchers in their recent study compare between bypass surgery and stenting for treatment of heart disease. There are two treatment options for blocked coronary arteries. Bypass surgery involves grafting a new vessel in place of the blocked section. Stenting involves introducing a metal device into the artery to keep it opened up. Researchers in Germany assigned a group of 200 patients to either minimally-invasive bypass surgery or to stenting and compared the outcomes.
They found that 30 per cent of the stenting group experienced a major cardiac event - that is, death, heart attack or need for repeat stenting. Only 12 per cent in the bypass group experienced a major cardiac event. The difference was mainly due to the artery being re-blocked more often after stenting. The death and heart attack rates were similar in both groups.
Bypass surgery was more likely to achieve freedom from angina than stenting, but adverse events occurred more often in the bypass surgery group. The researchers conclude that both procedures are effective and worthwhile but maybe bypass is more successful in the long-term, as stenting is more likely to need repeating.