Health & Wellness Publications

Save $200,000 on Coronary Bypass Surgery


American Heart Association President Has Heart Attack at Age 52
John Warner had emergency surgery to insert a stent to open a clogged artery.  While this is a sad thing, it is, unfortunately, an all too common occurrence in America and in countries who consume a Standard American Deadly Diet.  

Stents are placed through a cardiac angiogram, a procedure in which a catheter is placed in the groin and run up to the heart.  An angioplasty, in which the narrowed blockage of the artery is opened with the inflation of a balloon usually, precedes the placing of the stent. The average heart stent placement surgery costs an average charge of $36,221.

Every year, more than half a million Americans undergo procedures to have a narrowed coronary artery propped open with a small metal mesh tube, or stent. In an emergency, when someone is having a heart attack, the operation can be lifesaving.  But far too often, studies show, stents continue to be implanted in patients who stand to gain little if any benefit. Some of the country’s largest medical organizations identified the procedure commonly used to place a stent — called a percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty — as one of five highly overused medical interventions.  Stents are inserted into clogged arteries but unless something is DONE to address the Cause, these stents can get clogged and cause problems just like any clogged artery.

The American Heart Association continues to recommend fish, chicken and dairy as normal dietary components.  They encourage folks to ‘cut back’ in beverages like soda with high sugar instead of recommending the ELIMINATION from the diet.  They, like many other of these organizations, only do ‘half measures’ to promote health instead of telling the truth.  They don’t believe people actually can change their diet and rely on drugs, surgeries and artificial means to control cardiovascular health when the Answer is right in front of them.  STOP Eating Crap!

It is so darned simple but these organizations have been promoting disease as ‘normal’ and, like poor Mr. Warner, blame family history or genetics.  It is mostly bullcrap.  Genetics might load the gun, but Lifestyle pulls the trigger. 

There are about 500,000 coronary bypass surgeries done each year in the United States; mostly to fix/replace blocked coronary arteries.   This requires multiple people wearing rubber gloves to crack open your chest and rummage around with your heart; often stopping it to do the work (heart/lung bypass).  Then they have to find a spare blood vessel (didn’t know humans had spare ones), cut it out and graft the spare, replacing the blocked coronary artery.  Not only is this dangerous, it is painful and costly!  Open-heart surgery has an early risk of death, with nearly 5% of patients who underwent bypass surgery in the study dying within 30 days of surgery. That’s 2500 people who DIE, every year, as a result of heart bypass surgery.  Not great odds.

Heart surgery isn’t cheap.  A single bypass operation can cost $200,000. Then there is the recovery therapy after surgery that averages about 6 weeks of sessions at $350 per therapy session.  Not done yet, there will be drugs, lots of drugs, that can cost more than $200/month.

It takes many weeks to recover from the surgical scars and often even longer to rehabilitate your ability to move around safely.  There are recurring doctor/hospital visits to follow up and make sure you are healing properly.  This ALL is costly and takes time away from work.  For many with strenuous jobs outside of an office, this can take even longer and you may never be able to return to your previous job.

All this is EXPENSIVE, and costly in time, money and strain on your home life.  Then there is the diet usually mandated by your doctor.  Less to no red meat, low fat/cholesterol, less salt/sodium, reduce sugar/sweets and eat more fiber, carbs and vegetables.

Just think of what might happen if you reversed this.  That is change your diet/lifestyle BEFORE you need heart bypass surgery.  Avoid having multiple people wearing rubber gloves crack open your chest and rummage around with your heart.  That just doesn’t sound like fun.  Wouldn’t you rather just eat delicious healthier food and NOT have to endure this dangerous, painful and very costly procedure?

Blocked arteries requiring bypass surgery take time to get blocked up.  It takes weeks to months to diagnose, schedule and perform such surgeries.  That means there is time to try something else!  Why not TRY a lifestyle change that could eliminate the need for heart bypass surgery?  After all, when you have a clogged pipe at home, you don’t replace the pipe, you clean it out.  Only in rare and extreme cases do you need to actually replace the plumbing.  The same might be said for your coronary artery system in your body.  Try cleaning it out before replacing it!

It really isn’t that difficult and certainly not as painful as the whole bypass operation process.  Eating delicious cuisine is a pleasant experience and the side effects, while often dramatic, are not painful at all.  Changing to a Plant Based Lifestyle can result in lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and often a dramatic improvement or elimination of arterial plaques that block your blood flow and are the reason to have a bypass operation.

Why not try to unclog your pipes before you replace them?  You usually have time, if you have less than 70% to 80% blockage.  While that is pretty bad, often doctors will try drugs or special diets; but these seldom are permanent corrections. Only a lifestyle change can perform the dramatic results to reverse the blockages, not only in the arterial coronary arteries but in the rest of your body.  When you begin to clean out your arteries they ALL improve.  You can’t just target one or just the arterial arteries; they all will improve.  For men, this can have a dramatic impact on ED that often accompanies, and actually presages, coronary arterial blockages that require surgery!

How fast can they improve?  It all depends on You and your doctor.  Changing to a Plant Based Lifestyle, will often be coupled with weight loss, lowering of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and lower blood pressure.  When you remove the stuff that clogs your arteries, provide immune system improving foods and get a bit of doctor approved exercise, amazing things will begin to happen.

In just 30 days, many of these improvements will begin.  You probably won’t reverse a major blockage in that short period but the overall health improvement should be enough to convince you and your doctor that this is a better path to, at least try, prior to the dangerous surgeries that might be recommended.  Give it a few months and you may be astounded at the improvements you will see; not only in your arterial function but overall life, energy and health.

It certainly is cheaper than the aforementioned cardiac bypass surgeries and you might even SAVE MORE money on your grocery bills in general.  We usually see about a 30% food cost reduction when you replace artery blocking foods with high fiber healthful foods.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds can and are delicious, healthy and in many cases lifesaving.  Why not just TRY it for 30 days?  You really have little to lose and So much to gain!


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Skip Stein is COO and Lifestyle Counselor at Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living near Orlando Florida. Under the subsidiary, Plant Based Healthstyle they promote a Plant Based Lifestyle for Nutritional Weight Loss, Disease Prevention and Disease Reversal.