Clogged Arteries? Zap 'Em

Radiation treatment helps heart patients avoid surgery

No one knows more than Dr. Jeffrey A. Werner about the potential for radiation to revolutionize cardiology. As a Seattle-based cardiologist, Werner has tested two devices that deliver bursts of radiation to arteries to prevent them from clogging again after angioplasty. But Werner has also been on the receiving end of that technology. By November, 1998, he had undergone three angioplasties to clear arteries that had a penchant for reclogging. On the fourth time, he decided to also have the vessel irradiated. While unrelated problems forced him to have bypass surgery earlier this year, he believes radiation could prevent others from undergoing the multiple procedures that he had to endure. "If I knew then what I know now, I would have had radiation the first time," Werner says.

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