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Bypass 'Off-Pump' Boosts Women's Outcomes
Date:9/11/2007

And another study suggests vitamin E protects their hearts

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Performing coronary bypass procedures without using the heart-lung machine can shrink the gender gap in survival and boost women's outcomes after these procedures, a new study finds.

The bypass results are "good news for women," said Dr. John D. Puskas, the lead author of the study that reviewed more than 11,000 bypass surgeries on men and women at Emory University Heart Center un Atlanta, conducted over more than eight years.

The isolated bypass surgeries studied involved bypass grafts alone rather than multiple types of heart procedures, the researchers noted.

And, in another step forward for women's cardiac care, a new study finds that vitamin E supplements reduces a woman's risk of deep vein and pulmonary thrombosis, according research from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.

Both studies were published Sept. 10 in the online edition of Circulation.

When surgeons operate off-pump, the heart continues to beat, and it's a "little bit like changing the spark plugs when the engine is running," said Puskas, an associate chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the Atlanta center. It's a newer technique that's not as frequently used elsewhere as it is at Emory, especially among older surgeons who may have developed their expertise using the traditional heart-pump approach, he added.

"We find there are other benefits" to the off-pump surgery such as "lower transfusion requirements, quicker times out of intensive care, quicker times out of the hospital, lower risk of kidney problems," Puskas said.

In the study, women who had bypass surgery at Emory using the traditional heart-lung machine had a 2.5 times greater likelihood of dying than in the "off-pump" mode, Puskas said.

Men also did better with the off-pump technique, but their benefit was of a smaller degree than th
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