Study Finds That Stents And Medicine Are Equal In Treating Stable Heart Disease

Heart Attack Misdiagnosis

A new study just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine investigated eight separate medical trials involving more than seven-thousand patients and studied differences in stenting and medicine. Overall, the study found that many people with a stable heart disease who undergo stenting are just as well off with medication.

I have written a lot in the past regarding stenting. Basically, stenting is where a physician places a tiny, mesh stent into a clogged or collapsed artery to keep it wide-open to prevent a clot. As beneficial and simple as the procedure can be, there really is a lot of controversy surrounding them. Particularly when doctors are accused of OVER-stenting or not having sufficient experience to perform the procedure properly (i.e. in jugular veins in your neck).

This study found that going through stenting costs almost $10,000 more to a patient over their entire lifetime than to an individual using just medication; almost $10,000 more!!! An important difference is that stenting is VERY beneficial and helpful for a patient HAVING or JUST suffered from a heart attack. However, when it comes to an individual with a stable heart disease condition, medicine and stenting were equivalent. In fact, researchers noted that there was NO data that stenting patients with stable heart disease had any reduction in either the risk of dying or suffering from another heart attack. If you consider the health complications I have previously wrote about for stenting, combined with the costs over a patient’s lifetime, this makes medicine the OBVIOUS choice.

What does this mean to you—the patient?! You can make more educated decisions when discussing these options with your doctor on whether or not to stent or try a less-invasive alternative of a medication routine first before a stenting procedure! So if your doctor is really trying to pressure you into receiving stents for stable heart disease, you need to know your rights! Ask your doctor about the risks, benefits, and alternatives. Explain to your doctor that you understand that for stable heart disease, studies show medication and stenting are equivalent and you rather undergo the less-invasive procedure—the medication—first because you can always opt for the more invasive later. If your doctor is STILL pressuring you to have a procedure you do not want, ask for a second opinion of another, unrelated doctor (unrelated meaning not from the same practice group).

Additionally note that if you have a stenting procedure and something goes wrong, you need to act quickly because of the statute of limitations! You only have two and a half years from the date of the injury to bring your lawsuit according to the Civil Practice Law and Rules section 214-a. But if your doctor makes follow-up procedures and appointments, this extends the statute of limitations from the date of the injury until the date of the last, physician-initiated visit relating to the procedure.