atherosclerosis, Coronary heart disease, hardening of the artieries

Questions to ask if your doctor about atherosclerosis, stents or coronary artery bypass surgery.

1.Am I in danger of dying if I don’t have the procedure?

2.Will the procedure prolong my life?

3.What will happen if I refuse the procedure?

4.Will medicine work just as well as stenting or surgery?

5.Are there any other procedures available to reduce my symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath?


1.It has been known since 1979 that coronary artery bypass surgery only prolongs life under the      following circumstances.

a.Left main disease or left main equivalent disease.

b.Three vessel coronary artery disease with depressed heart function.

2.Since 2007, the results of the COURAGE TRIAL showed no difference in longevity in patients with chronic coronary artery disease who were treated with stenting as compared to patients who were treated with the usual cardiac medications.Stenting has been shown to be beneficial in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarctions if the procedure is done within six hours of the onset of chest pain.

3.Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery has been shown to be superior to stenting for the long term relief of angina and also prolong life in diabetic patients.

Fast Facts on Coronary Heart Disease:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States
  • There are nearly 1.5 million heart attacks per year in the US, according the American Heart Association
  • An American will suffer a heart attack every 34 seconds
  • Coronary heart disease is also the leading cause of soaring health care costs; more than $475 billion spent annually on treating CHD, including
    • $100,000 for each coronary bypass surgery
    • $50,000 for each angioplasty
    • $30,000 for each diagnostic cardiac catheterization
  • There are nearly 500,000 coronary artery bypass grafts and 1.3 million angioplasties performed every year
  • Stress is thought to contribute to development of CHD


The mission of this site is to educate the patient and their family on all available options for the treatment of their heart disease such as diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications, medications, CABG, Stents, and External Counterpulsation and also options to prevent sudden cardiac death.  Furthermore, we want to inform you of your diagnostic optionsfor Coronary Artery Disease.  This knowledge will enable you to work with your physician to make an informed decision on what the best course of treatment may be for you.

The best medical care is a team effort, a close collaboration among you, the patient, your physician, and other health care specialist. You can become an effective partner in your care by learning as much as you can about the condition and options for treating it – and by asking your doctor questions about your specific case and his or her care recommendations.

Whether you are newly diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, are currently being treated, or are the caregiver, use the information and questions provided in these Web pages to become a knowledgeable partner in care.

Buffalo Heart Health also focuses on the overall cost of healthcare.  There is a wealth of knowledge and ideas surfacing on how to allign the cost and benefit of heart disease treatments.   Click PAY FOR PROOF to see a recent article written by Dr. George A. Diamond and Dr. Sanjay Kaul  in Forbes on an interesting concept on reimbursement for health services.  Another factor that is leading us to higher health insurance premiums and cost of healthcare may be a premature decision to perform an invasive procedure without the standard pretesting.  See ELECTIVE ANGIOPLASTY, entitled “Most patients do not undergo recommended test to confirm need for elective angioplasty” in JAMA for further details.  Finally, a trial completed in 2007 entitled the COURAGE trial was very enlightening and informative about PCI + Medical Management vs. Medical Management alone. (Be patient, it takes a minute to download this video, but it’s worth the wait)

Along the top of the page are tabs that give you more information about each cardiac option.   On the sidebar to the right are our most recent posts, other’s most recent comments, the categories for each option.  Click on a category and it will bring you to the most recent entries about each option.

We are updating the site daily so please check back often.