Stent or Bypass: Which One is Right for You?

The treatment options for blockages in the arteries of the heart, depend on whether or not the patient has a multivessel disease.

Dr. Viveka Kumar (Sr. Director – Cath Lab; Interventional Cardiology & Electrophysiology Max Super Speciality Hospital) informs that stenting is now used in several day-care centres as patients can be discharged within 24 hours and sometimes within 12 hours. He explains that in the following instances angioplasty with stenting is a better treatment option as compared to a bypass surgery:-

  • If the patient has only one or two blockages in the heart and they are young a stent can sustain them for 15-25 years after which, if need be, bypass surgery can be done
  • If the veins in the heart are not too long and there is not a lot of calcium deposit in them
  • In cases of an acute heart attack the life threat for angioplasty with stenting is only about 2-4% whereas if bypass surgery is done during an acute heart attack, the threat to life goes up to 20%. Considering this, during an acute heart attack a cardiac surgeon would not recommend bypass surgery.

However, there are occasions wherein a bypass surgery is a superior treatment option to stenting. If a patient is diabetic and has more than three blockages in the heart (triple vessel disease) then a bypass surgery is suitable. Regardless, with ageing, bodily wear and tear will require due attention as no treatment is a permanent solution.


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