Chronic Total occlusion (CTO) angioplasty
Chronic total occlusion angioplasty involves unblocking (or opening) the coronary artery that is completely occluded for more than a period of few months to many years. This is a challenging situation where there is no visualization of the pathway of the blood vessel to help pass wires and balloons. There are various special techniques available in these situations to open the blood vessel and perform stenting procedure. This can be achieved by opening the artery by direct pathway (antegrade approach) or through indirect pathway from the back of the artery (retrograde approach), using special kits (crossboss and stingray balloons) available in the cardiac catheter lab. This will help to improve the blood flow and make patient feel better. This procedure also needs special training to perform successfully as the success of the procedure comes with experience.
Images showing CTO angioplasty (performed few months ago) in a 33 yr old Nigerian Male with CTO. Before and after angioplasty pictures are shown.