Question: Why do some patients require bypass surgery instead of stents?
Answer: There are some situations where it's clearly been shown that coronary bypass surgery is better than stents, and better than medical therapy, and those are situations in which the blockage is of the one artery, the main artery to the entire heart.
That artery is called the left main coronary artery. So if you have a significant blockage to that artery the standard of care is coronary bypass surgery.
There are other situations that will mimic that, where -- sometimes called left main equivalent stenoses or blockages.
And in those cases, most cardiologists and cardiac surgeons would agree that once again coronary bypass surgery is superior to stents.
It is a controversial field however. And it's one that is constantly evolving as surgery gets better, as stents get better.
So we have to constantly evaluate each patient individually to determine what's best for that patient in that situation.
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