DURING the past ten years, as aortocoronary-arterybypass operation has received wider application, the procedure has been subjected to possibly the most intensive scrutiny of any operation in the history of surgery. The recent preliminary report of a Veterans Administration Cooperative Study,1 highly publicized in the lay press, has not only created considerable controversy within the medical profession, but has also caused confusion and concern cmong patients. Unfortunately, an editorial accompanying this report has been erroneously interpreted as a total condemnation of the surgical treatment of coronary arterial disease.2 That the preliminary study of a small, highly selective group of patients operated on by surgeons with variable experience and observed for a mean interval of only 21 months should have received such enormous attention indicates the passion and partisanship that have enveloped this subject.
In the 13 years since the first successful aortocoronary-artery—bypass graft was performed for coronary atherosclerosis,
DeBakey ME, Lawrie GM. Aortocoronary-Artery Bypass: Assessment After 13 Years. JAMA. 1978;239(9):837–839. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280360033013
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