Medicine: Overdoing Heart Surgery?

The coronary bypass is unquestionably the most frequently performed piece of radical major surgery in the U.S. Some 25,000 times a year, doctors open the chest of a heart-disease victim to implant a piece of one of the patient's own veins or arteries to carry blood around an obstruction in the coronary artery that feeds the heart muscle. But is the bypass operation always necessary? Not according to Dr. Henry Russek, a professor of cardiology at New York Medical College. At a conference on cardiology at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston last...

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