Is there any evidence that heart stents, which are a very common procedure and are performed every day, actually work? The Doctors welcome Dr. Joel Kahn to discuss the prevalence of this heart surgery.
The Doctors note that 2 million heart stent and bypass procedures are done each year in America and a study has found that many could be avoided.
Dr. Kahn says the study found that patients who opted for changes in their diet, and added more exercise and took medication like aspirin, had fewer heart attacks, compared to those who had procedures. He notes this applies to stable patients, and not people on the verge of having a heart attack or those with a history of heart attacks.
Along with the study's findings that stents did not prolong life for many patients, surgical oncologist Dr. Marty Makary notes that stents can come with complications, like clots forming inside the stent.
The Doctors encourage all patients to never rush into surgery, unless it is an actual emergency and look into getting a second opinion. Dr. Kahn also notes that a good diet, fitness, and getting the proper amount of sleep, can help anyone's overall heart health.