Is opening a chronic, total occlusion of a coronary artery always the right thing to do?

Are there scenarios where opening a chronic total occlusion can result in less functional capacity of the heart muscle?

Submitted by Walt from New York on 01/07/2015

by Denton A. Cooley, MD

Opening such a coronary lesion can be accomplished by surgical endarterectomy or bypass and is usually advised to improve cardiac function. The decision is at the discretion of the operating surgeon, taking into consideration, among other things, the area of heart muscle served by the circulation of the artery in question.