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Question:

Is preemptive heart surgery an option?

I recently had a calcium score scan done and my results were 1568 way above the 400 bench mark for hardening of the arteries.

My question is: My blockage was 50%, 40% and 30% not enough for a stint or bypass- since your calcium score never goes down and statins have proven only to be a little effective in slowing down the progression – is preemptive heart surgery an option? Since no one has a heart cath down every 4 months or so, do I have to wait for a HCE before I can receive a stint or have the bypass operation?

Submitted by Robert from Lincoln, Nebraska on 08/22/2014

Neither coronary artery bypass surgery nor interventional treatment is indicated in this scenario. I agree there is ABSOLUTELY no role for intervention or surgery here. It’s true that the Ca+ score never goes down but Ca+ score is not the same as risk of cardiovascular events. Statins are the best weapon we have against atherosclerosis, plaque instability, and cardiac events. We see this time and time again in clinical practice, the patients who have established CAD and are not on statins are the ones coming in with more cardiac events. Not taking statins allows the disease to progress unchecked. If lipids are high, I would certainly advocate statin therapy in this setting.