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New Devices, Techniques for Severely Clogged Arteries

Wesley Medical Center October 23, 2013

Wesley is the first hospital in south-central Kansas to use Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

WICHITA, Kan. – Wesley Medical Center is the first hospital in south-central Kansas to offer a new procedure for heart patients who might not be candidates for open heart surgery. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is now being provided to patients with chronic total occlusion or CTO. These new devices will improve the survival rate and quality of life of CTO patients.

CTO is a serious, difficult- to-treat condition where a patient’s artery is completely blocked. The blockages are typically large and solid, having been in place three months or longer, preventing circulation to parts of the heart.

Dr. Assem Farhat of Heartland Cardiology performed the first CTO procedure at Wesley October 22.

“During the procedure, we are able to insert a catheter into the wall of the artery, go around a part of the artery that was completely blocked and then reenter the artery using a new technique,” Dr. Farhat said. “This restores blood flow to the area that was not receiving proper circulation. Many patients with this type of blockage experience chest pain, on a regular basis, which interferes with daily activities. By improving blood flow, those symptoms can be reduced and patients can experience a better quality of life.”

CTOs affect the survival rate 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 percent of patients with CTOs are treated only with prescription drugs. CTO appears in up to 30 percent of patients with blocked arteries.

“It gives us an option that we never had before to use a less invasive procedure to improve circulation in many patients who many not have other options for treating the blockage,” said Dr. Farhat.

For Michael Traugott, age 62, treating the blockage was exactly what he hoped for. After suffering from a heart attack on the 21st of February and poor results from a routine follow up stress test, Dr. Farhat recommended the procedure.

Dr. Farhat performed the CTO-PCI procedure yesterday on Michael to treat a completely blocked coronary artery. Michael will be going home this afternoon from Wesley and is looking forward to resuming his normal daily activities.

“I feel great,” said Michael.

The procedure takes an average of 90 minutes to two hours to perform, and patients typically go home from the hospital the following day.

For more information about Wesley Medical Center and its services, please visit For more information about Heartland Cardiology, please visit

(Wesley Presents New Devices, Techniques for Severely Clogged Arteries, page 2)

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