Advanced treatment for chronic total occlusion (CTO)

You can depend on the Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center® team at the Heart Hospital of Edward-Elmhurst Health to effectively treat your chronic total occlusion (CTO):

  • We're a leading center for CTO PCI procedures – we perform the most CTO procedures in Illinois.
  • Edward Hospital is one of the top hospitals nationally in terms of CTO PCI success rates.
  • Our cardiac experts are among the few in the country who can successfully treat CTOs with minimally invasive procedures to restore blood flow to the heart without open-heart surgery.
  • We are a global training site, and we routinely train other doctors from around the world on these innovative CTO procedures.
  • We are the only community hospital in the world to participate in an international conference that features a live streaming of our CTO procedure.

New CTO techniques are life-changing for patients

CTO occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked with plaque for three or more months. CTO impedes the flow of blood to the heart and can have severe effects on your health. When one or more of your coronary arteries are completely blocked, you are at higher risk for a heart attack.

While there are several options available to treat CTOs, there are few that have enabled doctors to open a blocked artery and keep it open. Our heart team has helped develop new techniques to reopen blocked arteries with a success rate of 85-90 percent.

Today, techniques have evolved that allow physicians to open arteries that have been closed for years.

Patients' stories of survival

Russell Vestuto was downing 100 nitroglycerin pills each month to help widen his blood vessels and ease his chest pain. That’s when he underwent an innovative new CTO procedure that changed his life. Read Russell's story

When Bill Youngs suffered a second heart attack and was diagnosed with CTO, he knew his options were limited. CTOs have been difficult to treat without open heart surgery, but Bill had already had a bypass procedure. Fortunately, his doctors knew of a minimally invasive technique that would open the blocked artery and keep it open. Read Bill’s story

Getting CTO treatment at Edward-Elmhurst Health

To ensure the best possible outcome for your CTO treatment, we use a range of treatment options, including:

  • Angioplasty: A balloon is inserted into the artery and inflated to widen it, allowing more blood to pass through.
  • Drug-eluting stent: The stent or "scaffold" is placed within the coronary artery and slowly releases a drug that decreases the risk of the artery re-narrowing.
  • Atherectomy: A catheter fitted with a rotating blade, laser or other device is used to remove plaque from the artery.
  • Heart bypass surgeries: These surgeries, including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, create a new route for blood and oxygen to flow to the heart, replacing the blocked artery.
  • Medication: We prescribe medications to ease CTO symptoms.

Ready to learn more about our CTO treatment?

Ask your doctor for a referral to our Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center at the Heart Hospital of Edward-Elmhurst Health. We’ll work with you to determine the right treatment for your chronic total occlusion. You also can view an animated example of the CTO procedure:

For more information, call 630-527-3730.

Fill out our online form to request more information