Tempting though it may be to focus on patient anecdotes to attract interest in a story, individual experiences are no substitute for a thorough discussion of the evidence.
No mention of costs in this story.
We learn quite a bit about the benefits that Mr. Carbine experienced from his operation, but what happened to the 2499 other participants in the study? This story is inexplicably silent on that question.
Both of the procedures discussed carry a substantial risk of harm. But none was mentioned in this story.
The story tells us that stenting was compared to open surgery in a clinical trial involving 2500 patients. But the story left out some important details, such as what outcomes the researchers reported. The only outcome that seemed to matter in this story was that of Thomas Carbine, the retired "Bloomingdale man" in the headline. What happened to the other 2,499 people?
There was no overt disease-mongering in this study.
The only expert source in this story was a principal investigator in the study being discussed. No independent source was quoted.
The story says that the study being discussed included patients with no symptoms of an imminent stroke. There is debate in the medical literature as to whether these patients are appropriate candidates for any surgical intervention. However, the study didn’t raise this issue.
The story states that one of the surgeons quoted in the story has been inserting carotid artery stents since 1995. Since this is the newer of the two techniques discussed, readers can reasonably assume that both procedures are widely available.
It is clear that neither of the procedures discussed in this story is new.
We can’t be sure of the extent to which the story may have been influenced by a news release.