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International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery Launches Educational Website to Raise Awareness of Treatment Options for Coronary Artery Disease.

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) today announced the launch of, a comprehensive resource to help patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) better understand their condition and be more prepared, educated and active participants in their treatment decisions. The first phase of the website focuses on coronary artery disease (CAD), a type of CVD that affects approximately 17.6 million Americans and is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Once a patient is diagnosed with CAD, a treatment decision must be made quickly. Receiving the right treatment the first time means patients may live longer, have fewer heart attacks and need fewer repeat procedures. To aid patients in this decision, provides tools and information such as:

* A "Decision Tree" to help determine whether they may be a better candidate for bypass surgery or stenting;

* A fact sheet that encourages patients to speak with a Cardiac Care Team of heart specialists before receiving a diagnostic angiogram and includes five key questions for patients to ask this team to ensure they are part of the decision-making process; and

* A section about "beating heart" or OPCAB surgery, which has been shown to reduce the need for blood transfusions, neurologic complications and has enhanced outcomes in women.

"ISMICS was formed to organize and centralize medical breakthroughs and developments concerned with patient outcomes, techniques, and progressive development of less invasive forms of heart surgery," said Francis D. Ferdinand, M.D., Cardiovascular Surgeon and Treasurer of ISMICS. "As the treatment landscape for CAD evolves, we are pleased to provide this resource, which can educate and empower patients and help ISMICS further fulfill our mission to improve patient care."

Since the 1970s, the mainstay for treating moderate CAD has been stenting because of its short recovery time, while traditional, more invasive bypass surgery has been reserved for patients with severe disease. However, long-term data presented in September 2010 at an international medical conference put these practices into question. These data showed that patients with moderate or severe CAD who were treated with stents were 28 percent more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack, 46 percent more likely to require additional procedures (e.g., more stents and eventually bypass surgery) and 22 percent more likely to die than CAD patients treated with bypass surgery.(1)

The "Decisions of the Heart" website will allow patients to benefit from a direct link to the ISMICS website for professionals so that the latest information, ISMICS Consensus Statements, and professional society guidelines become available in a straightforward, easy to understand format that patients and their families can use to better understand their treatment options. ISMICS will also develop a "Surgeon Locator" so that patients and their families can readily identify leading surgeons at the forefront of minimally invasive surgery from a trusted source.

For more information, please visit:

(1) Optimal revascularization strategy in patients with three-vessel disease and/or left main disease: The 3-year Outcomes of the SYNTAX Trial. Presented September 12, 2010, at the 24th European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) Annual Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.


The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) was formed on May 31, 1997, by the participants of the World Congress of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery at the Palais Des Congres in Paris, France, to organize and centralize the various surgical centers concerned with patient outcomes, techniques, and progressive development of less invasive forms of heart surgery. ISMICS has the only peer-reviewed Annual Scientific Meeting dedicated to the minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery techniques and technology and is taking a leadership role on a global basis in shaping the direction of less invasive cardiac surgery.

SOURCE International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 1, 2011
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