My dad has had bypass surgery and multiple PCIs and now one of his arteries is completely blocked. He has chest pain that limits his ability to walk. He doesn’t think he can take another round of bypass and cardiac rehab. Is there anything else that can help?
Depending on your dad’s condition, there may be other options. Many patients with coronary artery disease end up needing multiple surgeries, especially if they have severe atherosclerosis (the disease that leads to coronary artery blockage). But there are newer, advanced treatments and one of these – called CTO PCI – which is available today for patients who have symptoms and very advanced blockages in the coronary artery.
CTO stands for Chronic Total Occlusion, and that’s when, like in your dad’s case, a coronary artery is blocked completely – with 0% blood flowing through the blockage. Patients with severe coronary artery blockage are sometimes told that their body’s created new arteries around their blockage. Those new blood vessels (called collaterals) often do not supply enough blood to the heart to prevent symptoms.
PCI stands for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. PCI is a minimally-invasive approach for CTO that uses catheters and imaging to remove the blockage without the need for open-heart surgery. The procedure itself is usually referred to as CTO PCI. Doctors use new technology and advanced techniques to work around or through the blockage in order to improve blood supply to the heart muscle.
“This is a highly-effective approach because we use a combination of advanced imaging procedures and tiny coronary equipment to work around or through the blockage,” said Dr. Steve Marso, Medical Director of Cardiovascular Services at HCA Midwest Health.
Dr. Marso is a nationally renowned cardiologist and medical researcher. He is a practicing interventional cardiologist as well as working with the medical providers at all HCA Midwest hospitals to enhance their heart care programs. Bringing his expertise to the Kansas City-area is one way HCA Midwest Health is fulfilling our commitment to providing extraordinary cardiac care for patients.
The coronary arteries are tiny blood vessels on the surface of the heart that supply the heart itself with blood. Blockage in these arteries from plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) is a main cause of heart attack. Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) increases heart attack risk as well as causing debilitating symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Better Heart Function, Shorter Recovery
Many patients with CTO have tried traditional treatments or are too high-risk for standard procedures due to age or other medical conditions. For these patients, CTO PCI is highly effective at clearing the blockage without a long recovery.
“It’s minimally invasive, so most patients can go home the next day,” said Dr. Marso. “It’s making a world of difference for patients who thought they had run out of options – reversing symptoms and improving heart function.”
Bringing Advanced Heart Treatments to Kansas City Region
In addition to bringing CTO PCI to the Kansas City area, HCA Midwest Health at Research Medical Center is also offering a new valve disease treatment called Trans Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a revolutionary procedure to replace the aortic valve in patients who are too sick or weak for other heart valve replacement procedures.
Patients who want to learn more about CTO PCI or TAVR are encouraged to ask their physicians or cardiologist for a referral to the HCA Midwest Health Heart & Vascular Institute or call (816) 751-3000 to speak with a nurse about health questions.