The Widowmaker full movie review - Incredibly inaccurate and misleading
This documentary is a joke. The writer obviously has little to no medical knowledge and did not have competent advisors for this film.
Even the title itself is inaccurate; the "widowmaker" is not the left anterior descending artery (LAD), it is the left main coronary artery. Not only that, the portion that describes stent placement first talks about blockages in the coronary artery, and then proceeds to say the stent is deployed in a vein. Really?!?! This is Cardiology 101 and they blew it.
The documentary also utilizes fear mongering tactics with its anecdotes about individuals who had a heart attack or whose family member died from one. While tragic, these anecdotes mean nothing with regards to medical or scientific evidence. It is akin to someone having a bad experience at a restaurant and posting a terrible review online, when there are hundreds of customers who have an excellent experience. People like to focus on the negative ? just watch the news.
The most glaring problem is the direct comparison of coronary calcium scoring to stenting. This is like comparing apples to oranges. Calcium scoring is a screening tool that is used to determine risk factors and the possible need to diagnostic coronary angiography. It is not a therapeutic intervention! In fact, the documentary fails to even mention the role of diagnostic coronary angiography as a precursor to stenting. It would lead you to believe that unless you undergo calcium scoring, you will have a heart attack and be one of the millions who die each year from heart disease. If a person gets a "heart scan" and it shows a significant calcium burden, the patient will likely be referred for diagnostic coronary angiography. This is the definitive diagnostic test for coronary artery disease. No angiography = no stent. It's as simple as that.
The part about lifestyle modification and optimal medical therapy and its superiority to stenting is also misleading. Medicine and a healthy lifestyle can slow the progression of existing disease and delay the onset of heart disease in many people, but again we are comparing apples to oranges. Stents are for severe, existing coronary lesions (blockages). They do not prevent heart disease. In fact, if someone has a stent that was not properly deployed or not on the proper medications after the stent, they are at an increased risk for a heart attack due to sub-acute thrombosis.
I could go on about the problems with this documentary, but I think this gets the point across. This documentary is not an accurate picture of reality. It is heavily biased against stenting because the writer is ignorant of the facts and/or chose to omit important information.
The parts about the development of calcium scoring and stents were interesting, however. That is about the only redeeming part.