Innovations in Heart Health Care

November 26, 2018 2:05 pm Published by

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease in the United States.

CAD is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart and other parts of the body. Over time, the buildup of plaque causes your coronary arteries to narrow, partially or totally blocking the blood flow.

When your coronary artery is blocked for 30 days or more, this is referred to as chronic total occlusion (CTO). With this blood flow blockage occurring, especially for an extended period of time, heart attacks and damages to the heart muscle may occur.

Symptoms of CTO often include:

  • Angina or chest pain
  • Pain in the upper body and arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Cold sweat
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Unusual fatigue

Many times, a medical professional will work with the patient to establish a game plan for the person’s specific CTO, all based on the complexity of their diagnosis and disease. Historically, most patients with CTO are given the option of open heart surgery, also known as a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). In the typical CABG procedure, to correct the blood flow issue from the heart, cardiovascular surgeons use a healthy artery or vein from the body and graft, or connect, it to the blocked artery in your body. Once the graft has taken place, blood is then able to bypass the blocked portion and create a new method of blood flow.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a CABG isn’t the only form of treatment for a blockage. As technology has advanced, so have the methods of correcting this issue. A procedure known as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is available and performed at Magnolia Regional Health Center, also known as a coronary angioplasty. During this nonsurgical procedure, a stent is placed into the blocked artery with the intention of opening it up enough to let blood pass through.

(From L to R) Mandar Jagtap, MD, Magnolia Cardiology Associates; John W. Prather, MD, Magnolia Cardiology Associates; Ted Richards, DO, Cardiology Fellow; Heather Nelms, RN, Cath Lab Nurse; Bobbie Cox, RN, Director of Cardiac Cath Lab

“Over the last couple of decades, there has been increasing interest in new minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of coronary total occlusion”, said Dr. Mandar Jagtap, Cardiologist at Magnolia Cardiology Associates. “In the Cath Lab at MRHC, we are able to open these concrete blockages (ones that have been present for at least three months) in the pipes of the heart using these techniques, allowing us to help get your heart back working well.”

Recent studies have shown that successful PCI procedures are associated with symptom relief, reduction in long-term mortality, and a lower need for CABG surgery. Being able to restore blood flow to a blocked artery improves a patient’s quality of life quickly and drastically. After the procedure, it is not uncommon for the patient to go home the next day.

Dr. Jagtap added, “By going the minimally invasive route, patients will usually be able to go home the same or next day. This means we can get you back to your desired quality of life sooner.”

With this advanced offering, MRHC patients continue to have access to the most advanced heart treatments in the industry. To learn more, please visit

This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center