Complex Coronary Interventions for CTO 

Complex coronary interventions involve using a catheter to widen a narrow artery and increase healthier blood flow. This procedure helps treat conditions such as coronary occlusion and chronic total occlusion (CTO).

Coronary occlusion occurs when an artery is either partially or completely obstructed and include symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue that usually resolves with rest. If symptoms remain after resting, that may be indicative of chronic total occlusion of the coronary artery. CTO occurs when the coronary arteries are completely, or almost completely, blocked by fatty deposits, or plaque for at least three months. Minimally invasive procedures available at the AHN Cardiovascular Institute can greatly lower heart attack risk associated with CTO.

CTO procedures using complex coronary interventions

Chronic total occlusion (CTO) of the coronary artery is a severe form of coronary artery disease. An occluded artery occurs when there is complete or partial blockage of a blood vessel. This can reduce or fully stop the flow of oxygen-rich blood to vital organs. Our interventional cardiologists have advanced training in performing coronary interventions, including CTO percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and angioplasty and stenting, to open completely (or almost completely) clogged arteries.

During an angioplasty procedure, your physician:

  1. Threads two catheters (thin, hollow tubes) from an artery in the wrist or groin up to the heart.
  2. Injects a contrast dye into the coronary arteries. X-ray images show the dye as it flows through the arteries, helping pinpoint blockages.
  3. Inserts a very fine guide wire into the blocked artery from the front (antegrade) and back (retrograde).
  4. Uses a balloon angioplasty technique to inflate a balloon inside the artery to open it up.
  5. Places permanent, drug-eluting stents (small mesh coils) that hold open the artery and release medication over time to prevent plaque buildup.

Learn more about coronary artery disease.

Contact us

No referral

If you do not have a referral for a complex coronary intervention, call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to schedule an appointment with a general cardiologist to be evaluated.

Scheduling a procedure

If you have a referral for a complex coronary intervention, call (412) NURSE-4-U (412) 687-7348 to schedule your procedure.