The Noninvasive Heart Center
Summary | Do You Really Need Bypass Surgery? | Overview | Alternatives | FAQ | Glossary | Angiograms | Chest Pain | Early Diagnosis | Stress Tests | Drugs Used | Mortality Statistics | Comparison Studies | The Doctor | The Books | Main




Howard H. Wayne, M.D., M. S., F.A.C.C., F.C.C.P., F.A.C.P.
Director, Noninvasive Heart Center
San Diego, California

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  • Why bypass surgery, angioplasty, and stents are obsolete.

  • Why the prediction you will have a heart attack or die without immediate bypass surgery is almost always wrong. In truth, the likelihood of having a heart attack or dying during or immediately following bypass surgery is vastly greater.

  • Why bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents do not prevent heart attacks or death but actually cause these dreaded complications.

  • That the belief that bypass surgery is the only treatment for coronary artery disease is no longer true.

  • That symptom relief after bypass surgery has nothing to do with the bypass procedure, and is due to numerous other factors.

  • That the true frequency of complications after bypass surgery such as stroke and loss of cognitive function is as high as 30%.

  • That the angiogram is the most inaccurate and dangerous test in cardiology, and frequently leads to unnecessary bypass surgery.

  • That the heart can develop its own bypasses with proper medical treatment assuring a normal life span and life style.

  • How noninvasive tests allow earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment of coronary artery disease with FDA approved drugs thereby relieving symptoms, avoiding disease progression with congestive heart failure, future heart attacks, and premature death.

  • Why the author, trained at the Cleveland Clinic, the birthplace of bypass surgery, has replaced surgery with medical treatment.

  • Despite new drugs and more sensitive diagnostic tests, patients with recent onset of chest pain who undergo stent insertion or bypass surgery have a 43% higher mortality compared to 25 years ago without these interventions.


Cardiologist Howard H. Wayne, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.C., F.C.C.P., F.A.C.P., author of "How To Protect Your Heart From Your Doctor" and "Living Longer With Heart Disease" has written a blockbuster of a new book called "Do You Really Need Bypass Surgery? A Second Opinion." It provides an eye opening look at the coronary artery bypass surgery industry, and the cardiologists and surgeons who force bypass surgery, angioplasty, and stents on helpless, frightened patients who often have a benign heart problem, and even no symptoms.

This is a well researched and documented book with over 420 pages and 360 references. Contrary to the claim that invasive interventions prevent heart attacks and premature death, Dr. Wayne documents in tens of thousands of patients with hundreds of references how these procedures not only cause these dreaded complications of coronary artery disease (CAD) that they are supposed to prevent, but are often followed by major side effects such as brain damage, strokes, and congestive heart failure in up to 30% of patients undergoing surgery.

While Cardiologist Wayne does not dispute the fact that many patients do indeed get better after surgery, he has written a stunning chapter that describes a dozen different reasons why this may be due to factors that have nothing to do with the bypass procedure itself. In fact, tongue in cheek, he writes about the Tom-Tom Principle which has proven many times that if you beat on tom-toms during a total eclipse of the sun, the sun will reappear.

The author takes particular aim at what he considers the common and unethical practice of many cardiologists who use tactics he calls medical terrorism. Typically they threaten patients with a heart problem that they are in imminent danger of a massive heart attack or dying at any moment unless they undergo immediate bypass surgery. Rarely is the patient provided with true informed consent about the high rate of complications of such surgery, including a heart attack, brain damage and death, or that there are other options for treatment that are more effective, safer, and less costly. The prediction of a massive heart attack or sudden death is almost never true. Indeed, in the past 25 years, in the countless hundreds of patients he has seen who were told they needed immediate bypass surgery, no patient who was placed on an optimal medical program with standard FDA approved drugs ever had a heart attack, developed congestive heart failure or died because he or she did not undergo bypass surgery. None of his patients has undergone surgery in over 10 years, and none has had a major heart attack in 12 years!

Dr. Wayne describes an important reason why bypass surgery and the use of stents may be considered obsolete. It is because of the heart's natural ability through angiogenesis to develop a network of new blood vessels around narrowed or occluded arteries. These tiny vessels are often referred to as collateral vessels, and are too small to be seen on an angiogram. Nevertheless, in spite of their small size, they are capable of delivering all the blood that is needed to the heart muscle. This is why although a coronary artery may appear to be blocked on an angiogram, there is no blockage of blood flow. In a sense the heart has put in its own bypasses allowing the heart muscle to function in a perfectly normal manner. Yet the angiogram is unable to see these tiny collateral vessels because the technique cannot image blood vessels this small. It is also unable to image heart muscle because it is an x-ray, and x-rays cannot image muscle tissue. Thus, the coronary angiogram is unable to determine if the heart muscle supplied by an occluded coronary artery is functioning normally. It follows that this very dangerous and expensive test is useless as a diagnostic procedure. Yet it continues to be performed in over two million patients a year.

Dr. Wayne tells us that following these two million angiograms there are 5,000 heart attacks, 5,000 strokes, and 30,000 other vascular accidents. There are also 59,000 cases of kidney failure that require dialysis due to the toxic effect of the dye used in the angiogram on the kidney. The result is 7,000 needless deaths from an unnecessary test. Yet, sadly, the only tests that are needed for the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease can be obtained cheaply and safely with modern noninvasive imaging procedures, which cost only a small fraction of the cost of an angiogram, and without its dangers. Considering the fact that all cardiologists are required to perform 50-75 angiograms a year to maintain their hospital privileges, or they lose their privileges to perform this test, and the income it provides ($10,000-$15,000), it is not hard to understand why most cardiologists urge all patients to have an immediate angiogram before they have a massive heart attack. Some have been known to schedule an angiogram even before seeing the patient.

Dr. Wayne was trained at the Cleveland Clinic, the birthplace of both angiograms and bypass surgery, and has sent his share of patients to surgery. This book also describes how he came to recognize that treatment with bypass surgery was more dangerous than the disease. With the help of modern medication, and guided by modern noninvasive imaging technology, he believes that coronary artery disease may now be considered a benign disease when it is appropriately treated. This is a must read book. It may save your life, or that of a close family member or friend.

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