Tuesday, August 7, 2018

To Have Bypass Surgery Or Not To Have Bypass Surgery

An article in the November & December issue of AARP reported that bypass surgery may not be the best first option in most cases of coronary artery blockages. Dr. Graboys of Harvard Medical School suggests a three-step formula to determine whether you can follow a non surgical route first.

Here are the steps:

1. Do you have a good heart muscle? That can be determined by cardiac ultrasound.
2. Does the heart have a stable rhythm especially under stress? That can be determined by a treadmill stress test.
3. Is there an absence of pain or shortness of breath?

If there is no pain or shortness of breath coupled with a good heart muscle and a stable rhythm, then bypass surgery can actually make the situation worse. If you are going to choose not to have bypass surgery, then the doctors in the article recommend three things to do:

1. Take drugs to lower blood pressure, modify cholesterol and raise HDL levels.
2. Follow a Mediterranean-style diet.
3. Exercise

So…if your doctor doesn't know about these alternatives to recommending immediate bypass surgery, then make sure you get a second opinion from a doctor who is aware of them so you can make a really informed decision.

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