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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:00 AM

Radiocast: Heart Bypass Surgery

(opening music)

Debra: This is Healthcare 411. A new heart bypass surgery procedure that can cut the risk of stroke and other complications. More on this next.


[Begin PSA: Listen To Your Kids]

Narrator: Listen to your kids about smoking.

Kid 1: It makes me feel sad that my Dad doesn’t stop.

Narrator: Over 44 million American are current smokers.

Kid 2: It effects our family because we all don’t want him to smoke and die.

Narrator: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.

Kid 3: I really want him to stop smoking because I really love him.

Narrator: The good news is minutes after quitting your health starts to improve. For help call 1800-QUIT NOW.

Kid 4: Cause you’re really special to us.

Narrator: A message for the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[End PSA]


Debra: This is Healthcare 411.

Dr. Sedrakyan: The only surgical cure to coronary artery disease is coronary artery bypass.

Debra: Dr. Art Sedrakyan, a cardio-thoracic surgeon and health services researcher at AHRQ.

Dr. Sedrakyan: In order for this procedure to be preformed the heart needs to be stopped. Obviously at the time the heart is stopped, there needs to be something taking over its roll. For coronary surgery, you use heart-lung machines.

Debra: But the machine has been linked to complications like stroke, renal failure, and damage to internal organs. Dr. Sedrakyan is the first to document the benefits of off-pump surgery. How does it work?

Dr. Sedrakyan: The new way of doing surgery is not stopping the heart, not using that machine, but performing the surgery on beating heart, even though the rate is slow.

Debra: And in trials, the results have been extremely positive.

Dr. Sedrakyan: It can prevent ten strokes per thousand coronary bypass procedures. There is a potential to also avoid infections.

Debra: The procedure is not entirely without risks, but as doctors become more experienced with it

Dr. Sedrakyan: These drawbacks can be reduced.

Debra: Learn more at healthcare411.org. I’m Debra James. Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the US department of Health and Human Services.

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