"Our results demonstrate that bypass surgery is not only beneficial from a clinical standpoint, but also economically attractive from the perspective of the U.S. health care system," Magnusson, director of health economics and technology assessment at Saint Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, said in an AHA news release.
But one other expert stressed that heart disease care is never a one-size-fits-all affair.
The new trial "was limited to patients with diabetes and multi-vessel disease, which likely is a different type of patient from those with multi-vessel disease who don't have diabetes," Dr. David Williams of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, said at the press briefing.
He believes there may be many patients without diabetes, but with multi-vessel disease, "for whom bypass surgery offers no apparent benefit over [stenting]."
Dr. David Friedman is chief of heart failure services at Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. He said that a patient's input is also key to decisions about cardiovascular care.
"I do factor in patient preference, which tends to be for the up-front, less invasive stenting approach," he said. But Friedman also agreed that opting for bypass may mean fewer repeat surgeries down the line.
Learn more about common procedures to unblock arteries at the American Heart Association.
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