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Chronic Total Occlusion Procedure Options

Male patient smiling at a male physician An innovative procedure used to treat chronic total occlusion (CTO) is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Previously, chronic total occlusion – the complete or near-complete blockage of a coronary artery with plaque – could only be treated through angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) during open heart surgery. Angioplasty is a procedure during which a balloon catheter is inserted into the blocked artery and is expanded, pushing the plaque against the artery walls to clear the blockage. A CABG procedure involves placement of a piece of artery or vein from elsewhere in the body to bypass the blocked artery and restore blood flow.

Today, hospitals at the forefront of the latest advancements in medical practices perform a PCI procedure, a non-surgical procedure during which a catheter is inserted into a clogged artery to open it up. This minimally invasive procedure has a shorter recovery time compared to other treatment options used in the past.

Tampa General Hospital is one of the only hospitals in the region to perform PCI for CTO. TGH physicians use antegrade and retrograde wire crossing techniques with better than 80 percent success and the complication rate is comparable to a standard angioplasty. PCI for chronic total occlusion is an inpatient procedure and usually takes about two to five hours to complete. The procedure can significantly reduce anginal symptoms and lead to improvements with left ventricular function.

Our cardiovascular center includes six cardiac catheterization labs, seven intervention radiology suites, eight cardiac operating rooms, a hybrid valve operating room, and 47 pre-and post-procedure patient rooms, all in 77,000 square feet of designated space. This space is an area for our specialized cardiac medical professionals to manage, treat, and consider the wide range of causes of cardiac and vascular conditions.

Click here to find a Tampa General Hospital physician or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).