Stents, bypass surgery serve ‘no advantage’ in terms of survival, decreasing heart disease: Dr. Marc Siegel

The decision should be pre-meditated – treat with drugs or aggressive procedure?

Recent research has revealed that undergoing bypass surgery or stent placement is not any more effective than using drugs in treating heart disease.

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Dr. Marc Siegel told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday that the $84 million study, led by NYU professor Judith Hochman, discovered there’s “no advantage” in either treatment, in terms of survival and decreasing heart attacks.

“We're not talking about patients that are on the verge of having a heart attack,” Siegel said. “[Then] the best thing we can do is put in a stent.”

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But when it comes to patients who have chronic chest pain or the 17 million Americans with blockages, Siegel said there are just as effective alternatives to invasive surgery.

“Do you treat them with cholesterol-lowering drugs and aspirin and blood pressure medicines?” he said. “Do you encourage them to exercise? Or, do you rush them to the cardiac cath lab and put in a stent?”

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Siegel answered this by sharing one secret.

“When someone's on that table and a cardiologist sees a blockage, they usually try to open it,” he said.

Illustration of vascular stent inside vein.

For doctors, he said, the decision lies should be pre-meditated  – treat with drugs or aggressive procedure?

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Siegel said this is a huge idea in decreasing “defensive medicine.”

“I don't have to put in that expense stent,” he said. “I don't have to do that bypass. I may do just as well treating you with medicines.”

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