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Hybrid heart procedures are gaining ground

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 2010

For more than a decade, surgeons doing open-heart surgery have competed for patients with interventional cardiologists, who implant stents. And the surgeons have been losing ground, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports: Since 1997, the number of heart bypasses in Philadelphia and the four Pennsylvania suburban counties has fallen nearly 57%, to 2,602 in 2008, an analysis of hospital billings found. In the same period, the number of procedures that implanted one or more stents rose nearly 24%, reaching 10,611 by 2008. But some doctors say hybrid heart procedures, which can be done on one day or in stages over several weeks, offer the best of both approaches.