EECP at Cordis Heart Institute is a remarkable alternative to angioplasty
Fundamental Features of Heart Attacks:
- Six out of seven heart attacks do not happen at the site of the blockage.
- A blockage discovered after a heart attack might be the result of a heart attack, not the cause.
- An angioplasty (balloon) and stent procedure is no better than medications, and it can be very dangerous.
- The angiogram is not the most accurate test for heart disease.
- The blocked arteries seen in an angiogram might have been there for many years and might not be the cause of a heart attack.
- The heart makes its own natural bypass through angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting blood vessels. So it does not matter how many blocked arteries an angiogram shows, the heart muscle function tests are the most important indicators of heart health.
The late cardiologist Howard H. Wayne, MD, author of Do You Really Need Bypass Surgery? A Second Opinion, in which he cites more than 300 studies, concludes the following:
- A number of studies have shown people as young as nineteen can have blocked arteries. This means that people with blocked arteries might not know that they have them and living normal lives. How can this be? The heart forms a natural bypass around those arteries (known as angiogenesis), and the heart functions well despite the blockage.
- An angiogram might show a blockage that has been there for many years harmlessly. Blockage is not necessarily the cause of chest pain or a heart attack. What is important is that the heart muscle functions. Even a 90 percent blockage might not lead to a 100 percent blockage. In fact, the 90 percent blockage might be an old, stable blockage that is more stable than a newer, smaller blockage.
- Angiograms can show arteries and veins that are as small as 0.5mm but no smaller. Many smaller veins that are not seen on an angiogram provide blood to heart muscles. As long as the heart function is determined to be okay according to an echocardiogram and, when possible, mechanocardiogram that is what is most important. If the heart function is determined to be not okay, then medications to lower blood pressure and take the load off the heart work better than surgery along with aspirin.
- Note: Dr. Wayne argues that the routine physical exam, in which the doctor listens to your heart and does an electrocardiogram (ECG), is not sufficient to detect a problem. I know of cases where the patient did great during a checkup, only to have a heart attack shortly afterward. If you are at risk for a heart attack due to high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, a family history, or another reason, insist on having the preceding three, more accurate, tests done.
- Wayne quotes many studies that show that bypass surgery and angioplasty are not effective, and in fact might cause many side effects, including heart attacks, memory loss, and even death.
- Many population studies conducted both in the United States and outside the United States, have shown that treatment with medications is equal to or even far superior to invasive angioplasty and bypass surgery.
- The financial incentive is great for many cardiologists, who have lately become technicians and do angioplasty routinely, even when there is really no need for it. Dr. Wayne recommends finding a cardiologist who does not do angiograms or angioplasty.
- Wayne points out that there is really no case where a patient has to have emergency bypass surgery or angioplasty.
- He also does not give his patients either cholesterol-lowering drugs or blood thinners, as he believes the current theory of how a heart attack happens has not been proven. In fact, six out of seven heart attacks do not happen at the site of blockage!
The aforesaid factual information about heart diseases focus on the dire need of alternative to angioplasty.