Angioplasy vs ByPass

Which is (as a whole) more dangerous. I ask as two co-workers parents both suddenly had health problems. One her father was having gas pains (probably a small heart attack) and he wound up with Quintuple ByPass surgery.

The other her mother sprained her ankle and since she hadn’t been to the doctor in years her doctor made her take a battery of test. He told her her arteries were so clogged she was a heart attack waiting to happen.

The reason I ask is the the second girl was worried as the first girls father was in the hospital and she thought it was as dangerous

I told her that while any operation is dangerous angioplasy is not nearly as serious as bypass surgery. After all angiospasy didn’t require general anesthesia or even overnight hospitalization.
Then my some other coworkers were telling me that I was wrong and it is as dangerous if not more than a bypass.

I have know at least 10 people to get angioplasy and all were in and out of the hospital in one day. Some back to work in three days. And while I understand any operation varies in terms of seriousness in terms of an individuals health etc. as a whole which is more dangerous? And why would angioplasy be more dangerous? Or why would people say it was?

(sorry about any misspelled words)

They are both pretty serious but neither is really worse than the other. There is less risk in surgery than bypass, depending of course on where the angioplasty is being performed and the results as far as mortality, are nearly the same for both procedures, as are the success rates. I don’t have any actual numbers or statistics, that’s just from some of what I recall from a few medical texts I have.

For elective procedures (those not done on an emergency basis), angioplasty is usually safer than bypass. AFAIK, the death rate with angioplasty is less than 1% and is around 2% for bypass.

The issue is complicated, however, by the fact that angioplasty may be reserved for the “better” candidates. Further, according to a seminal article regarding people with serious coronary disease, more people who undergo angioplasty than bypass will subsequently need a bypass (~30%) than will people who have had a bypass need a second bypass (~1%). Likewise the need for a repeat angioplasty (about 20% after an angioplasty and about 7% after a bypass).

Unfortunately, or fortunately, practice has already changed significantly since the publication of that article. In particular, angioplasty is now usually performed in conjunction with the placement of stent in the blocked vessel (to keep it open). Results are much better than with angioplasty alone.

This is not a straightforward question.

IIRC, there was a recent study which said for diabetics with CHD, angioplasty was of much less effectiveness than bypass, and IIRC they went so far as to recommend not even bothering with angioplasty with diabetics.

But is could just be reduced blood flow to my brain causing me to misremember…

Absolutely. This is one of the things I was referring to when I said that angioplasty is reserved for “better” patients.