The study has tremendous implications for people thinking about a stent or surgery to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
A long-term study that examines whether stents or surgery is better to prevent strokes find that they’re both about the same.
The study, which took place over a 10-year period at 117 medical centers in North America, measured how each treatment affected patients over the long term, according to a UPI report. The study was conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, Rutgers University and the University of Alabama Birmingham.
The study had two phases: the first took five years and found that stents and surgery were equally safe, meaning doctors can choose whichever one they feel is best for their patient without any concern about whether one is safer than the other. In the second phase, scientists confirmed that both treatments are effective long-term solutions, and it confirms therefore the patient and physicians have the option to select either one.
A total of 2,502 patients were included in the study. All of them had either received a stent or had a surgery to deal with arterial clogging. Researchers found little difference between the two groups, with 11.8 percent of patients with stents and 9.9 percent who opted for surgery having a heart attack a decade later, and 6.9 percent of those who had a stent and 5.6 percent of those who had surgery getting a stroke after a decade.
“This second phase completes a story, and the results are very encouraging,” Dr. Thomas Brott, a neurologist and the Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Professor of Neurosciences at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement. “We have two safe procedures. We know now that they are very effective in the long run. Now the patient and the physician have the option to select surgery or stenting, based on that individual patient’s medical condition and preferences.”
The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.