The BVS Disappearing Stent: Promise, Hype and the Tension Between Progress and Safety

Medicine does not stand still. You want innovation; you want progress. But you also want safety. Millions of patients have coronary stents placed in the arteries supplying blood to the heart. It’s big business. Metal cages placed in the setting of a heart attack can be life saving. In other settings, however, the strongest quality… Continue reading The BVS Disappearing Stent: Promise, Hype and the Tension Between Progress and Safety

The George W Bush stent case: An incredible teaching opportunity on the basics of heart disease

The wrist artery hardly had time to seal. (Surely it was a radial.) The controversy came that fast. The drumbeat of naysayers seemed to start only minutes after a prideful press release announced that George W Bush had undergone successful cardiac stent placement. The ever-quotable cardiologist from Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen, said, “This is… Continue reading The George W Bush stent case: An incredible teaching opportunity on the basics of heart disease

In the Prime post up over at the Courier-Journal: The difficulty of judging others

Judging other doctors is tough. You are torn. On the one hand, as a member of the profession, it’s hard to read stories of misdeeds of fellow cardiologists and remain neutral. You want to call out the foul. You want to set the record straight. That doctor did wrong. Justice needs to be done. I… Continue reading In the Prime post up over at the Courier-Journal: The difficulty of judging others

Only one heart: Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease in the Real World

Tonight, I am going to stick up for my interventional cardiology friends. These are the good folks who respond immediately (and I mean immediately) when you have a heart attack. They open clogged arteries. Like Jack Nicholson said, “you want these guys on the wall.” Why do I feel the need to take up for… Continue reading Only one heart: Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease in the Real World

The top three Cardiology stories of 2010…and three predictions for 2011

The end of the year marks a time for list-intensive posts. Recently, Larry Husten, from Cardio-Exchange and Cardiobrief, asked for my opinion on the three most important cardiology-related news stories of 2010.  Additionally, he also wanted three predictions for 2011.  (I assume cardiology predictions.) Here goes… My top three cardiology stories of 2010: —By far, the… Continue reading The top three Cardiology stories of 2010…and three predictions for 2011

New tools to rescue one from heart attacks…

Any doctor who tries to counsel patients on the importance of making good lifestyle choices has heard these oft repeated phrases. Doc, “I don’t eat french fries.” “I just smoke a little.” “I really do not eat that much.” “I do not have time to exercise.” “My blood pressure is always better at home.” “I… Continue reading New tools to rescue one from heart attacks…

An electrician’s view of smooshing blockages…

Really sound information is out there in the internet universe. DrRich has put out an incredibly timely and pertinent piece of advice concerning the common practice of stenting blockages in the coronary arteries. He succinctly summarizes a small retrospective study that showed an increased risk of cardiac events after non-cardiac surgery in patients who have… Continue reading An electrician’s view of smooshing blockages…