Heart bypass surgery, also known as cardiac bypass surgery, is a medical procedure that saves the lives of millions of people each year. While heart bypass surgery is often life-saving, the people who have had this medical procedure and end up having a heart attack are twice as likely to receive delayed treatments as those who have not had heart bypass surgery.
Heart Bypass Surgery and Treatment for Heart Attacks
This new study, which was led by cardiologist Luis Gruberg from Stony Brook Heart Institute was just published in “American College of Cardiology Interventions” which is a journal. The study found that those heart attack patients who had heart bypass surgery previously ended up being twice as likely to have delayed treatments such as angioplasty or other revascularization when compared to the group of heart attack patients who never had heart bypass surgery.
The hope of the study author is that new ways and more improved methods can be used in order to improve the treatment times for those patients who have had heart bypass surgery in the past once they get to the hospital. If you did not know what revascularization is it is basically when there is a restoration of perfusion to a specific part of the body or organ that has suffered ischemia. Essentially revascularization is the restoration of blood flow to a certain part of the body, therefore when looking at revascularization of the heart, it means to restore blood flow and this is often done by unblocking the blood vessels and unblocking obstructions.
When you look at revascularization in order to clear out the blocked arteries, which is what causes heart attacks, time is very crucial. When someone comes into the hospital the revascularization should happen within 90 minutes of the arrival to the hospital. While most patients get the treatment within the 90 minute window, there are quite a few patients that do not get this treatment within 90 minutes and for a variety of reasons. Dr. Gruberg said that for people who have had heart bypass surgery previously, the process is more complex due to the anatomy being more complex and complicated. After a heart bypass surgery, it can be more difficult to see the blockages in the blood vessels, and this means that more images have to be taken in order to identify the problems. Obviously, the longer it takes to identify the issue and get the images needed, the longer it will take for treatment to take place.
Heart Bypass and Treatment Study Results
Dr. Gruberg and his colleagues ended up assessing data from over 15,600 different heart attack patients while looking at over 297 hospitals in the United States. The study results were that about 6 percent of these patients had heart bypass surgery previously, and of those specific patietns 76 percent of them had the revascularization within the 90 minute window after getting to the hospital. When looking at those patients who did not have previous heart bypass surgery, but had an angioplasty, 88 percent of patients got the revascularization treatment within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital.
Dr. Gruberg said that the results of this study shows how significant of a time gap there is between the two groups when it comes to getting treatment, and said that hospital needs to improve these treatment times for the patients who have undergone a heart bypass surgery previously. Dr. Gruberg did say though that those with a history of heart bypass surgery often times do have treatment delays because of the fact these people often have advanced heart disease. There are also other issues that need to be considered for this group of people that can delay treatment as well. Dr. Gruberg said that these findings now need to be verified by looking at more data of both the heart bypass surgery group and the non-heart bypass surgery group. Either way, Dr. Gruberg said that people with the heart bypass surgery do seem to lack quick treatment and this does need to be addressed because it can help save more lives.