Heart of the matter: Unwanted implant of stents raises concern

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published May 4, 2016, 1:28 am IST
Updated May 4, 2016, 3:26 am IST
Doctors scaring patients into expensive procedures.
At least 15 per cent of stents implanted in patients are not needed.
 At least 15 per cent of stents implanted in patients are not needed.

Hyderabad: At least 15 per cent of stents implanted in patients are not needed, say doctors in Hyderabad who believe patients are being scared into the procedure.

With more than one lakh stents used in 2014-15, according to the data released by the Cardiology Society of India, experts say it is necessary to decide if a patient requires a stent or by-pass surgery.

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With no standardised regulations, misuse or overuse will always happen, senior city doctors said. A senior cardiologist in Gandhi Hospital said, “Twenty per cent of our patients have been advised stent implants or bypass procedures though they  require only medication.”

Dr A. Gopal Kishan of the Old Boys of Osmania Medical College Association said, “The problem is that the majority of them are opting for stents and whether it is really required needs to be independently evaluated at the hospital level.”

Dr R.V. Kumar, senior cardio thoracic surgeon at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences said, “In the US, there is a heart team comprising a cardiologist, cardio thoracic surgeon and other specialists who decide if a stent is required. This is only on paper here.” There is also no third party evaluation by insurance firms which makes implanting a stent an easy procedure.

Under the Aarogyasri Healthcare Scheme, prices have been reduced from Rs 80,000 per procedure to Rs 40,000. A senior Aarogyasri officer said,  “A cost cut was done after we found too many procedures being done under the scheme. At least 40 per cent were not required. Despite a hue and cry raised by cardiologists, the costs have not been increased.





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