Monday, February 14, 2005

Heart surgery

If you need heart surgery, make sure you get it done at a hospital that does lots of your type of case. And make sure the surgeon has done lots, too.

Here is the conclusion to a heart surgery study in the new Archives of Internal Medicine:
Conclusion: High-risk patients are more likely to undergo CABG [coronary artery bypass with graft] at low-volume facilities where their risk of dying is higher.
This study only deals with heart surgery, but it's a good rule of thumb with any surgery to go with a doctor and hospital with a high volume of the procedure.

[Note: I am not a doctor, so take any medicine-related advice from me with a considerable dose of salt. But I do spend a considerable amount of time thinking about medical practice patterns. People occasionally even pay me to do so.]