Thursday, July 14, 2005

By pass that bypass...and angioplasty too!

This year, 400,000 people will have their chests cracked open for heart bypass surgery, another 1 million will have angioplasty. If you asked most of them, "As a result of this procedure, do you think you 'fixed the problem'. they would likely say yes. And they would be wrong. Research shows--that with the exception of patients with severe disease, bypass operations don't prolong life or prevent future heart attacks. Nor does angioplasty. Yet, the average person thinks they have no choice other than to have these procedures performed (usually under duress since they're having heart pains at the time the doctor says, "you must or you'll die")

Businesweek, 7/18/05 asks, Is heart surgery worth it (businessweek.com)? This article breaks the taboo on this topic and finally acknowledges what has been known by the medical profession for sometime. I recall reading over 10 years ago that angioplasty was rated(by doctors) as the number one least useful operation. When I first read this I thought, well, fine then, they'll stop doing them. But they didn't--they just kept 'perfecting its uselessness'. Angioplasty (where they put a little balloon type device to 'expand the blood vessel' to increase blood flow) gives symptom relief only--it doesn't cure anything.

What is better? Diet, lifestyle changes (exercise, meditation, emotional support groups). Hmmm, all the things you get when you make your Life Puzzle!

1 comment:

Mad Dog said...

Great idea! I love it. I'm so glad to hear someone say this.