General indications for those who are candidates for laser heart surgery include patients with severe coronary artery disease who have (1) diffuse coronary artery disease, (2) remaining symptoms following previous surgery, or (3) been told they are not candidates for other forms of treatment.
There is no single indication for laser heart surgery. Certainly those with small vessel disease of many coronary arteries, the severe diabetic who is prone to small vessel disease, those who require bypass at a young age, and those who have failed to get relief from other methods of treatment are among the group of patients who may benefit from Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization.
Participants in clinical trials of investigational procedures are asked to sign a special informed consent after a full explanation of the procedure(s). The advantages and disadvantages, along with the risks, are outlined in the consent form. Those who agree to participate are asked to return at regular intervals for follow-up studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. It is hoped information will be gained that will help those who participate in the clinical trials as well as provide information that will help other patients with coronary artery disease.
The question of insurance coverage comes up frequently, but cannot be answered simply. Some insurance companies agree to cover specific investigational studies, while others do not. The decision is at the discretion of the individual carrier. Certainly every effort is made to secure the cooperation of the carrier. Assistance with non-covered expenses can, at times, be obtained from other sources; our staff will explore these options with you.
Each individuals' specific circumstances must be evaluated to determine eligibility to participate in this investigation. It may be possible to do some preliminary screening by telephone. A review of records and the cineangiogram is necessary to make an initial determination regarding candidacy for the procedure. Examination, complete evaluation, and additional screening tests are required prior to actual selection.
Heart and Lung Institute N124 W16862 Lovers Lane Germantown, WI 53022