Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (CTO PCI)
Up to 1/3 of patients with advanced coronary disease have a completely blocked artery or a Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO). Even though some doctors are having great success with a minimally invasive stenting procedure called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), a CTO remains the most common reason for bypass surgery or a deferral to medication therapy alone. Why? Because only 1-2% of cardiac interventionalists in the U.S. can perform the full range of CTO PCI. Fortunately, one of those doctors leads the Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Program at Ochsner, the only dedicated program for CTO PCI in the Gulf South.
The Most Experienced CTO PCI Team in the Region
At Ochsner, CTO PCI is a performed by Dr. Rajan Patel, a quadruple fellowship-trained cardiac interventionalist. Dr. Patel has specialized training in advanced methods to treat CTO blockages, studying under internationally renowned PCI pioneers. His dedicated team has performed hundreds of CTO PCIs, making them the most experienced CTO PCI team in the Gulf South, able to treat even the most complicated cases. Through clinical research and continuing education, they keep up-to-date on every aspect of CTO.
The Ochsner CTO PCI team truly educates their patients, taking the time to break down the facts, explain their specific situations and their options, addressing both the benefits and the risks. It’s important to them that you fully understand and are comfortable with your decision.
Meet the Team
Rajan Patel, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI
Medical Director of the Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (CTO PCI)
Becky McCalla, RN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator
In a chronic total occlusion (CTO), a coronary artery is completely blocked, restricting blood flow to the heart. CTOs are blockages that have been present for more than three months. The condition is caused by arteriosclerosis, a buildup of plaque (deposits of fat and cholesterol) inside an artery.
Signs or symptoms of CTO may include:
- Pain or pressure in your chest
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue (tiredness)
Ochsner has the latest, most sophisticated CTO diagnostic equipment available. Tests may include:
- A coronary angiogram
- A nuclear stress test
- A cardiac MRI
Ochsner is home to the only cardiac MRI in the region.
CTO PCI Treatment
With PCI, a small mesh tube called a stent is placed in the blocked artery to restore blood flow. This procedure is done in one of our state-of-the-art cath labs, while you are awake, under moderate sedation. The procedure can take between two and four hours, depending on the complexity of your blockage. In most cases, our patients spend the night in the hospital and go home the next day. After treatment, you can expect an improved quality of life. Specific benefits include:
- Reduced chest pain and shortness of breath
- Increased energy
- Decreased feelings of depression
- Increased ability to exercise
Second Opinions for CTO
If you’ve been told you have an artery that cannot be opened–that there’s nothing else that can be done for you–we suggest you call our clinical nurse coordinator to schedule an appointment for a second opinion. If our team determines that a stent procedure isn’t right for you, Ochsner is also home to renowned LVAD and Heart Transplant programs. To make an appointment, call 504-842-4309.
At Ochsner, referring physicians are considered part of the team. We invite you to come watch the procedure and discover how CTO PCI at Ochsner can be a safe, effective option for your patient. To refer a patient, please call our Clinical Nurse Coordinator at 504-842-4309.
CTO PCI Program
Ochsner Medical Center
c/o Dr. Rajan Patel
1514 Jefferson Highway
3rd Floor Clinic Tower
New Orleans, LA 70121