July 11, 2013
Heart surgery used to be the only treatment option for people diagnosed with chronic total occlusions (CTOs) or severe blockages (99% or higher) of coronary arteries.
However, thanks to a new highly advanced heart procedure available at the Catholic Health Heart Center at Mercy Hospital, it is possible to treat this condition through the minimally invasive technique of angioplasty.
The procedure is referred to as Chronic Total Occlusion PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention), and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is one of a handful of hospitals in the country currently offering this procedure.
Dr. Henry Meltser, an interventional cardiologist at Mercy Hospital, has been a catalyst in bringing this new procedure to patients in Western New York.
He completed over a year of specialized training to perform this type of angioplasty.
“The procedure was originally developed in Japan about 5 or 6 years ago, but it is relatively new here,” noted Dr. Meltser. “I am the only doctor within roughly 100 miles that is trained to perform this procedure.”
The benefits of angioplasty to open severely clogged arteries have been questioned by physicians, but it seems that Chronic Total Occlusion PCI, with its specialized methods and new surgical tools, is providing a safer, minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgeries like coronary bypass.
Although complex, this procedure is helping patients recover sooner with less pain, less scarring, and less risk for infection.
For more information, please call (716) 706-2112.
This article appeared in the April / June 2013 edition of Mercy Connection, the official newsletter of Mercy Hospital.