Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG): Reassessing Efficacy, Safety, and Cost

David K. Cundiff

In This Article

Costs Considerations

Surgeons performed 553,000 CABG procedures in 1998 in the United States, including 217,000 repeat operations,[43] and the average operation cost $44,820.[113] This totaled about $26 billion per year in the United States alone. Worldwide cost figures have not been published.

The frequency of performing diagnostic coronary angiography procedures increased by about 8.5% per year from 1979 to 1998, totaling 1.3 million in 1998.[43] The average fee of $12,450[43] translates into a total cost of more than $16 billion.

From 1987 to 1998, the rate of performing coronary angioplasty procedures has increased about 25% per year (539,000 procedures in 1998) with an average fee of $20,370 in 1995 dollars.[113] This gives about $11 billion of cost overall.

In contrast, aggressive lifestyle modification as described by Ornish costs about $7500 in the first year and nominally more thereafter.[114] Currently, about 40 insurance companies cover Ornish's lifestyle modification program, and Medicare is considering covering it.[114] The potential savings to the US economy of shifting the emphasis on CAD treatment from invasive cardiology procedures to lifestyle modification is substantial.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.