Question: I have read that women do not do as well as men after bypass surgery for a heart attack. Is this true and what is the reason for this?
Answer: Indeed, previous studies have suggested that women did not do as well with bypass compared to men. And much of this had to do with women on average being smaller, the surgeons using on average tools and procedures that were designs for the larger man.
They also were less likely to use some of the time consuming therapies such as using the internal mammary artery because they said it was too small.
What has happened in the last decade is that surgeons have acknowledged that, in fact, they can operate on the smaller arteries; they have downsized their tools and their procedure.
And we now have in our most recent registry, called the Barry, demonstration that women are actually doing a little bit better than the men with bypass. So this is not a realistic problem anymore and an example of good problem solving in doing a better job once problems are recognized for women.
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