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Innovations in Coronary Artery Disease

Complex Coronary Artery Disease

NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute offers patients with complex coronary artery disease the most advanced treatment options using new techniques available at only a few select institutions in the country.

Patients suffering from chronic total occlusion (CTO) or complete blockage of coronary arteries, who have previously been deemed too high risk for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are now being treated with innovative minimally-invasive procedures.

Fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist Justin Levisay, MD, is treating an increasing number of these complex patients with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and artery revascularization utilizing novel interventional techniques that result in successful clearing of blockages up to 90 percent.


True Team Approach

NorthShore brings a comprehensive team approach to the complex coronary care patients, involving a range of cardiac specialists and dedicated experts in cardiovascular imaging. Cardiothoracic surgeon Hyde Russell, MD, and heart failure specialist Robert Gordon, MD, are frequently part of case planning discussions for the most complicated patients.

The collaborative team comes together to leverage specialized expertise for decision making and optimal patient outcomes. All members of the clinical care team, including cath lab nurses, ICU nurses and physician assistants are specially trained and play a vital role in the program. NorthShore’s advanced imaging including MRI and PET Scans are also essential.


Heart Support

The Impella circulatory support system is used to stabilize the heart during these complex procedures. The tiny device is put in through the femoral artery and continues to pump 2.5 to 4 litres of blood per minute, keeping the patient stable throughout the procedure. Dr. Levisay serves as a Midwest trainer for Abiomed Inc., the company behind Impella.

The experience and clinical judgment required to perform these complex procedures is beyond that of a traditional, single-year fellowship. Dr. Levisay’s significant experience and skill level enable him to care for the sickest patients and those with the most challenging anatomy. NorthShore’s outcomes data for these procedures is on par with leading centers across the country.


Sophisticated Technique, Precise Skills

Dr. Levisay’s specialized training and experience enable him to use advanced coronary guidewires in a dissection and re-entry approach methodically pushing the wire past the blockage and very carefully coming back through before putting in a stent.

Another advanced approach for patients with 100 percent blockage is known as heart flossing and involves guiding wires up through the back side of the blockage, and through the body’s naturally formed tiny channels or auto bypasses.

Dr. Levisay has developed a very specialized set of sophisticated skills in opening arteries for the most challenging “complex higher-risk and indicated patient” (CHIP) cases, including those with high-risk anatomy or other co-morbidities. He has successfully treated patients in their 50s through their 80s, many of whom have been told by other physicians that their condition is not fixable with a stent procedure. The vast majority of patients see a dramatic increase in daily quality of life following the interventional treatment.


Revolutionary Care

A recognized leader in the field, Dr. Levisay hopes to continue to push the boundaries of the interventional technology offering more patients treatment options and/or alternatives to traditional bypass surgery.

To learn more about NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute and its Complex Coronary Artery Disease Program, please call 847.864.3278.