Very Long Term Survival After CABG

27 Year Survival After CABG

A 2012 NIH study showed a significant advantage for Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery compared with non-surgical procedures.

Older adults with stable CAD who underwent bypass surgery had better long-term survival rates than those who underwent PCI. While there were no survival differences between the two groups after one year, after four years the CABG group had a 21% lower mortality rate.

I have reviewed the issue of long term survival extensively in comparison with other studies that include the SYNTAX trial. However, none have adressed survival beyond 5 years.

With an annual mortality rate (if not treated) for patients with stable coronary artery disease of about 2% and 10-20%/year in patient populations similar to patients operated by me, 25+ year survivals must be remarkable.

This is what I learned this past week:

A secretary from one of the State’s cardiology offices called and asked about one of my patients. To my delight I learned this regarded a patient operated in 1988. When asked she said he was doing fine, but had just called to make a routine office appointment.

I called back later for more details, but couldn’t remember the name. However, since I have maintained my patients data till 2001 when I retired, I looked up that year, and mentioned some of the names on my list; of the first ten, five were active patients in their practice!

The following image shows my patient’s long-term survival up to 200 months after their surgery (data collected from 1983-2001, 93% of female and 86% of male patients alive 16 years later after their bypass surgery):

Long Term Survival:


Patient Characteristics show these patients were high risk and had a very low morbidity/mortality:

Patient Characteristics:




Although this is incidental information, I now know that at least five patients are alive 27 years after their bypass surgery. A comparison with available literature shows that most investigations limit their reviews to less then 10 years after an intervention such as a stent or bypass surgery. Of significance, there are very few survival studies out there!

Dr T

Comments 5

  1. You are so right about the lack of long term studies. Most studies of cabg patients cover a few weeks to a few months post-op..

  2. I have a stent for 17years . Should I get it checked to see if it has determined or needs replacement? I stopped taking the 3statins after 3years, but with regular health checks from my md

  3. I had a cabg 10 years ago, and just had 3stents in Coronary artery is this usual, and how long will I hold up?

  4. Had three stents inserted left and right arteries August 2005 at the age of 64.
    I take 75mg aspirin 10 mg statins and 5 mg ramapril.
    I have regularly trained for over 40 years weight lifting, jogging and biking.
    I still feel good.
    Will my stents last much longer ?

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