Patients who underwent off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery fared just as well one year after the procedure -- but at a lower cost -- as patients who received traditional surgery using a heart-lung bypass machine, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study involved 200 patients at Emory University in Atlanta between March 2000 and August 2001. The same surgeon, John Puskas, performed all procedures. Death and complication rates were similar for the two groups, but the average total hospitalization cost for off-pump surgery was $2,272 less at discharge and $1,955 less one year later than for traditional bypass surgery. About 21% of all bypass surgeries were performed off-pump in 2002, according to the report. An accompanying editorial noted varying results in prior studies and suggested that a large-scale, head-to-head trial of the two surgical techniques would be necessary before off-pump surgery could be accepted as a new standard of care. Read the study. -- by Cinda Becker
Off-pump bypass outdoes traditional method: study
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