Intended for healthcare professionals


UK heart surgery results similar to those in the United States

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 02 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:986

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Anne Gulland (peterwalton{at}
  1. London

    Doctors have voiced fears over government plans to publish the results of individual surgeons as they launched a report showing that mortality for coronary surgery in the United Kingdom ranks among the best in the world.

    The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons' national adult cardiac surgical report showed that the United Kingdom's national mortality for coronary surgery was 2.1% for the three years 1999-2001. Mortality in the United States last year was 2.6%.

    The United Kingdom also compares favourably with the United States for cost. In the United Kingdom an arterial graft costs £6000 ($9360; €9500) to £7000, compared with $59939 in Pennsylvania.

    Since the data were first collected, 23 years ago, the number of highly complex combined coronary artery bypass and valve operations has risen from 584 to 2881 and the operative mortality has halved from 17% to 7.8%.

    During the presentation of the data at the Royal College of Surgeons, doctors raised fears over the government's intention to publish individual surgeon's results for coronary artery surgery from 2004.

    Professor Peter Hutton, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “Only the surgeons are vilified when things go wrong.”


    • National Adult Cardiac Surgical Database Report 2000-2001 is available from Dendrite Clinical Systems (tel 0118 946 1911;price £50.

    View Abstract