Recent news claimed that stents prevent heart attacks and strokes. Experts revealed stenting and carotid endarterectomy have effective results in patients prone to heart attacks and strokes. Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical technique consisting in the removal of the inner lining of the affected artery.
This method is known for being the standard procedure in patients who cannot tolerate open surgery. On the other hand, carotid-artery stenting involves placing a flexible mesh tube into the region of the artery that is blocked. Physicians use a long catheter that allows the mesh to be placed in the artery. After this, it is inflated to enlarge the narrowed pathways, enabling the blood flow.
The study lasted 15 years at 117 medical centers in North America. During this time, experts analyzed each treatment’s results in patients on the long term. The research was divided into two parts. The first five year part was called the Asymptomatic Carotid Trial, abbreviated as ACT. It pointed out that stents and surgery are both safe. This means doctors which one of these treatments is best for their patients.
It appears there is no concern regarding their safety. The second ten year part was named the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST). Scientists discovered both methods have long-term benefits. This way it was confirmed yet again doctors and patients can choose whichever they think is best. The ten year study involved 2, 502 individuals.
All the participants were given either a stent or had surgery to treat arterial clogging. The results showed few differences between the two groups. It was found 11, 8 percent of patients with stents and 9, 9 percent with surgery had a heart attack 10 years later. Also, 6, 9 percent of individuals with stents and 5, 6 percent with surgery suffered a stroked after a decade.
Dr. Thomas Brott, neurologist at the Mayo Clinic claims these results are very encouraging. He added that:
“We have two safe procedures. We know now that they are very effective in the long run. Now the patient and the physician have the option to select surgery or stenting, based on that individual patient’s medical condition and preferences.”
Scientists’ discovery, that carotid endarterectomy and stents prevent heart attacks and strokes, is a great improvement in the medical field. People who are prone to such health problems have a chance to a better future. More information about these procedures can be found in the current issues of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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