Patients can get heart treatment without surgery
13 February 2020
Patients from Southend and Broomfield Hospitals played a key role in worldwide research to improve treatment for heart conditions. The research showed that people with stable coronary heart disease can be treated just as effectively with medication instead of invasive surgery.
The ISCHEMIA research study found that medical treatment is just
as effective as invasive treatment such as angioplasty or bypass
surgery for patients with significant coronary disease but stable
symptoms of angina.
Doctors from Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group took
part in one of the largest randomised trials, involving thousands
of patients worldwide to compare the effectiveness of medication
versus surgery for treating patients with stable symptoms of angina
or coronary artery disease.
Of the 5,000 patients that took part, 539 were recruited in the
UK, with 39 from Southend University Hospital and 40 from
Broomfield Hospital. The trial started in 2014, with a follow up
period of five years.
Dr Thuraia Nageh, Consultant Cardiologist and Cardiac Clinical
Research Lead at Southend University Hospital said:
"This is really good news for our cardiac patients. Most
patients would prefer not to have invasive surgical procedures and
now we can reassure them that there is no need for us to rush into
surgical treatment, but that we can wait and control their symptoms
with medication alone."
"Of course, for those patients that cannot tolerate the
medication or continue to have symptoms despite the tablets, the
option of stents or bypass surgery is still a safe and feasible
John Robinson, patient said: "I was honoured to be approached by
Dr Nageh who invited me to take part in the Ischemia
Trial. Having experienced heart problems, I was unsure what to
expect. Right from the very first meeting to the end of the trial
the whole team have supported me every inch of the way especially
when it became clear that the medication route was not working for
me and surgical intervention was necessary. I always felt in very
safe hands thanks to this dedicated team and my regular meetings
with Swapna Kunhunny. The whole experience has been one of
interest and learning on my part as to how by using medication
instead of invasive surgery may in the future be the way
forward. I hope that the small part that I have played will go some
way to helping future patients who suffer heart problems."
All of the patients in the randomised trial that received
invasive surgery were treated at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre
(CTC) at Basildon Hospital with either stents or bypass surgery.
The high standards and collaboration between the three Trusts were
recognised by the trial co-ordinators with certificates of
excellence issued to all of the principle investigators from Essex,
Dr Thuraia Nageh, Dr Reto Gamma, Dr John Davies and Mr Inderpaul