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Article
December 29, 1956

MEDICAL EVALUATION OF THE BECK OPERATION FOR CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE

Author Affiliations

Cleveland

From the University Hospitals and Mount Sinai Hospital (The Hexter Laboratory for Cardiovascular Research).

JAMA. 1956;162(18):1603-1606. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970350019005
Abstract

• The Beck operation, which consists of procedures to effect intercoronary blood-flow communications, has been performed on 185 patients in Cleveland. The operation relieves ischemic areas of the heart muscle, responsible for pain, and can prevent dangerous oxygen differentials that cause death; however, it cannot stop occlusive disease in the coronary arteries, nor restore degenerated myocardium. A positive diagnosis of coronary disease is the indication for operation (unless there is some specific contraindication), and the protection afforded by the operation need not be withheld until the patient has had at least one myocardial infarction. On 137 follow-up studies the long-term mortality has been reduced over one-half from what would be expected, and 90% of those patients still being followed have definite amelioration of previous symptoms. The low operative mortality is attested to by a series of 100 consecutive patients operated on, of which only one died prior to discharge from the hospital.

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