Interventional cardiologists at Henry Ford Health, William O’Neill, M.D., and Kaldoon Alaswad, M.D., have developed a new coronary artery bypass surgery to treat patients with severe angina. This procedure is a redesign of a surgery from the 1950s that had not been used for decades. The new procedure replicates bypass surgery from the 1950s, making it more accessible to thousands of patients who cannot undergo stent or open revascularization.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of patients undergo open heart surgery or stenting for coronary artery disease in the United States. However, this new procedure has the potential to impact even more patients positively. The new method involves creating a channel between the circumflex artery and coronary sinus, replicating the original surgery without using the open heart technique. The channel between these two veins operates well, and further tests are in place to determine how well the bypass is working.
The first patient to undergo this transcatheter surgery at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital was Fred Casciano, a former paint contractor in Traverse City. Casciano was initially told he had only one remaining working coronary artery and was out of conventional medical care, but he later saw Dr. O’Neill for possible treatments. Casciano has been under Dr. O’Neill’s watch for years, and in 2019 he was one of two patients in the U.S. to receive a coronary sinus reduction implant as part of an FDA-approved clinical trial led by Dr. O’Neill.
Casciano’s condition worsened, and Dr. O’Neill decided to reroute the coronary-to-venous pathway during surgery to avoid the recurrent near-total occlusions plaguing Casciano. Casciano’s first heart attack occurred when he was 38, and he was treated with angioplasty and a stent. At 41, he was diagnosed with 98% occlusion of all major coronary arteries and underwent five bypass surgeries, but the blockage reappeared after a few months.
The new procedure has received positive responses from researchers at Henry Ford Health. Dr. Alaswad, the medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, believes that this new procedure offers significant progress in treating the disease. Overall, this innovative procedure has opened the door to a non-surgical treatment option for thousands of patients while replicating a bypass surgery that has not been used for decades.