Category Archives: Patients

George W. Bush Gets Angioplasty and Stent – Was It Necessary?

George W BushFormer President George W. Bush received an angioplasty and stent this morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The stent was recommended by Bush’s doctors to open a blockage in one of his coronary arteries, found yesterday during what was described by Bush spokesman Freddy Ford as his annual physical exam at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. Continue reading


Filed under Angiograms, Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Cardiac CT, Celebrity Patients, COURAGE, Drug-Eluting Stents, FFR, Imaging, Media Coverage, Non-Invasive Testing, Optimal Medical Therapy, Stent

Past, Present & Future of Transradial Angioplasty with Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij

Dr. Ferdinand KiemeneijOn the occasion of the 20th anniversary of transradial intervention (TRI), I talked with Dr. Ferdinand Kiemeneij, “the father of transradial intervention” who practices interventional cardiology at Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We covered a wide range of topics regarding TRI, where angioplasty and stents are placed via the wrist, and we’ve just posted the two-part interview on Angioplasty.Org. Continue reading

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Filed under Cost Effectiveness, Global Trends, History, Innovators, Interviews, Japan, Patient Experience, Stent, Transradial Approach

USA Today Claims Stents and Angioplasty “Often Unnecessary”

Coronary StentYesterday’s edition of USA Today carried an article by Peter Eisler titled, “Six common surgeries often done unnecessarily” — and, you guessed it, angioplasty and stents were at the top of the list of “six common surgeries that carry significant risks of being done without medical necessity, according to federal data and independent studies.”

I was a bit taken aback because I was not aware of any new study, federal or independent, that concluded stents were being vastly over-used. And it turns out that there wasn’t one. Continue reading


Filed under Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Clinical Trials / Studies, COURAGE, FAME I / FAME II, Heart Attack, Media Coverage, Shared Decision-Making, Stent

Become Part of the Transradial Angioplasty Surge

Growth of Radial PCI in U.S.

Growth of radial access in U.S. since 2007, estimated to be 20% by end of 2013 (click for larger image)

This graphic shows the adoption curve for the transradial wrist approach to percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) in the United States from 2007-2012. From 1.2% to 16.1% in just five years. And we estimate that by the end of 2013, TRI will account for 20% of all PCIs. That’s one in five. Pretty impressive. When was the last time a medical procedure that is less expensive, more comfortable for patients and has fewer complications, grew this quickly?

You can read more in our article, “Wrist Angioplasty Sees Unprecedented Growth in U.S.,” which reports on an important study which was published in this week’s Circulation.

Or you can do something about it and become part of this revolution by getting into the training loop. Continue reading

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Filed under Cost Effectiveness, Meetings & Conferences, Patient Experience, Transradial Approach

Oldest Stent Patient is Also Oldest Transradial Patient

Dr. Purshotam Lal and his 104-yr-old patient, Hari Singh

Dr. Purshotam Lal and his 104-yr-old patient, Hari Singh

Pretty amazing! Last week a 104-year-old man from Noida, India became reportedly the oldest patient ever to receive an angioplasty and stent. As reported in the Hindustan Times, Hari Singh was admitted to Metro Hospital and Heart Institute on May 16 with chest pain. Angiography showed two 100% totally occluded arteries and a 90% blockage near the origin of his Left Anterior Descending (LAD) artery.

Dr. Purshotam Lal, MD, FACC, FSCAI, who is the Director of Interventional Cardiology and Chairman, Metro Group of Hospitals, knew that his patient would probably only survive for a very short time if he did nothing. So he performed an angioplasty and stent implantation on Mr. Singh…and he went in through the left wrist, the transradial approach, to reduce discomfort to his patient and minimize the possibility of bleeding and vascular complications. Continue reading


Filed under Global Trends, Patient Experience, Patients, Stent, Transradial Approach, Video

Andreas Gruentzig on “Complications”

Andreas Gruentzig MD, inventor of PTCA

Andreas Gruentzig MD, Inventor of PTCA

The Patient Forum on Angioplasty.Org receives over 40,000 page views a month. And patients who post to the Forum are a very select subset: they are usually patients who have experienced some type of complication.

I’ve called it our “Complaint Dept.”, not to demean or belittle it in any way, but to characterize it for our readers. If you read through some of the topics, you would think that angioplasty is fraught with negatives and the risks outweigh the benefits. And you’d be wrong because the number of complications is the numerator; the denominator is all of the procedures done, currently almost 700,000 PCIs annually in the U.S. alone.

So, complications occur in only a small percentage of cases.

Of course, if you or a loved one is one of those complications, you really don’t care about the percentages; you want help and answers. Continue reading

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Filed under History, Innovators, Interviews, Patients, Video

FDA Panel Decision on Mitraclip Approval: It’s Safe and “Sort of” Effective

MitraClip, manufactured by Abbott Vascular

MitraClip, manufactured by Abbott Vascular

Today’s Circulatory System Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee heard testimony from Abbott Vascular, surgeons, cardiologists and patients.

The indications for the MitraClip Clip Delivery System that were being discussed were “the percutaneous reduction of significant symptomatic mitral regurgitation (MR=3+) in patients who have been determined by a cardiac surgeon to be too high risk for open mitral valve surgery and in whom existing co-morbidities would not preclude the expected benefit from correction of the mitral regurgitation.”

In the end, the panel voted on three questions which relate to the approvability of the device, and the envelope goes to…well here are the votes: Continue reading


Filed under Clinical Trials / Studies, FDA, Meetings & Conferences, Patient Empowerment, Patients