Nobody wants to get surgery. Whether it’s done to remove wisdom teeth or provide you with a new kidney, surgery is universally seen as a cause of last resort – a procedure to undergo only when there are no alternatives available.
However, in recent years, certain surgeries have become so commonplace that they are often conducted without giving too much thought to the alternatives. Even though medical treatments may be possible or even preferable, surgery has become the standard response to these medical issues.
Heart disease, for many people, is one of these issues. The disease is one of the most common ailments that affects American adults: according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease causes over 1 million heart attacks every year and costs the United States $316.4 billion. Due to the wide range of risk factors out there – including among them weight, lifestyle, stress, and exercise – it is no surprise that this disease is so widespread.
A common medical response to coronary heart disease is coronary artery bypass surgery, which is an invasive procedure that redirects blood from blocked arteries and veins. Over the last couple decades, this procedure has become routine and is often the preferred choice of cardiologists.
Newer, safer medicines, however, have been shown in studies to be the less risky and, often times, more effective approach. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients treated with drug medication were compared with those who underwent surgery. Those in the latter group had a 14 percent risk of stroke one month after the procedure; the patients who just took drugs, on the other hand, had only a two percent risk.
Medicine is now the safer route because doctors, aware of testing done by companies like Huntingdon Life Sciences, are more aware of those drug cocktails that lead to the best patient results with the least amount of risk assumed. So if you find yourself afflicted with heart disease, make sure that you and your doctor discuss in detail all the available options. Surgery may still turn out to be your best bet, but it’s only a route that should be taken out of necessity, once all other choices – medication included – have been eliminated.