Fully blocked arteries present increased health risks, reduce quality of life
The Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Porter Regional Hospital recently employed new devices designed to treat fully blocked coronary arteries known as Chronic Total Occlusions (CTOs). Historically, totally blocked arteries have been addressed by heart bypass surgery or treated with prescription drugs. The first patient of Interventional Cardiologist Keith Atassi, M.D. was treated on June 27 using novel techniques and technology from Boston Scientific, and was released from the hospital the next day. The Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Porter Regional Hospital is the first facility in the area to make this new line of therapy available to their patients.
According to multiple studies, 31% of patients referred for coronary angiography have at least one totally blocked artery. CTOs affect the survival and quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people, and have historically been an untreatable condition for many patients. While some are treated with bypass surgery, 60% of patients with CTOs are treated only with prescription drugs.
The Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Porter Regional Hospital sees these new devices and techniques as an alternative to medical management and a way to improve the quality of life for its patients with CTOs. The center has established a CTO Program to address this complex form of coronary artery disease, including in-depth physician training from Boston Scientific on the CrossBoss™ and Stingray™ Coronary CTO Crossing and Re-entry System. These devices enable physicians to treat lesions more successfully and efficiently using minimally invasive techniques. They are currently the only devices of their kind on the market that are FDA cleared to specifically treat coronary CTOs.
"These unique devices require new techniques and training and we are now among a select group of hospitals nationwide to develop these skills with these new devices,” stated Dr. Atassi following the procedure. “Chronic total occlusions used to have limited treatment alternatives beyond medical management or surgery and we are pleased to be able to bring these innovative new devices and additional treatment options to our patients and our community.”
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States, and is the leading cause of death for both men and women according to the American Heart Association. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually. Approximately every 34 seconds, 1 American has a coronary event, and approximately every 1 minute, an American will die of one. Each year, coronary heart disease costs the United States $108.9 billion in health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
Porter Health Care System has two hospital campuses and seven outpatient facilities serving Porter, Lake, LaPorte, Starke, Newton and Jasper counties. With more than 350 physicians representing 50 medical specialties on the medical staff, Porter Health Care System is a leader in technology and overall patient care.