Ramesh Chandan: Coronary Artery Disease
Over the summer of 2021, Ramesh Chandan began to notice that when he went for long walks, he would feel pressure in his chest. His primary care physician did an exam that showed his overall health was good, but recommended an angiogram (a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see the heart’s blood vessels) to determine if coronary artery disease was present. Coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease that develops when the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Ramesh’s angiogram showed multiple blockages, including in his left anterior descending artery. The condition is referred to as multi-vessel coronary artery disease; when more than one coronary artery is affected by blockages, and the condition can be challenging to treat with conventional techniques and tools.
Ramesh was told he should have open-heart surgery to open the blockages, but at age 87, he was not convinced he would survive the surgery and wanted a second opinion. His primary care physician referred him to Dr. Kenneth Baran, a cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute®, who suggested he should undergo further testing to determine the health of his heart muscle.
“The test results showed that 94 percent of my heart muscle was intact, and so Dr. Baran encouraged me to pursue stents as an option,” said Ramesh.
Dr. Baran connected Ramesh with Dr. Emmanouil Brilakis, who serves as chairman for the Center for Coronary Artery Disease at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) and director of the Center for Complex Coronary Interventions at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Under Dr. Brilakis’ leadership, MHIF’s Center for Coronary Artery Disease has built a world-class reputation for innovative research on coronary artery disease and life-saving treatments for even the most complex cases of blocked arteries.
On September 7, 2021, Dr. Brilakis performed a complicated multi-vessel percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which was ultimately successful. He showed Ramesh images of the blood flow in his arteries from before and after the procedure, showing the flow had significantly improved.
Through innovative percutaneous techniques (performed through a needle stick through the leg or arm), interventional cardiologists are improving the outcomes of percutaneous PCI, making it a rewarding option for many patients who are experiencing symptoms. Interventional cardiologists are now able to gently steer special guide wires and catheters across the blockages, which are then opened using small metal coils, called stents. The Center for Coronary Artery Disease team helps educate other cardiologists across the world on these latest PCI treatment methods by maintaining resources for cardiologists to learn from hundreds of online patient procedures.
Once Ramesh finishes his cardiac rehabilitation, he said he is looking forward to traveling and resuming his normal life.
“It was very satisfying that Dr. Brilakis, using his expertise, was able to do what others couldn’t,” said Ramesh. “I definitely feel an improvement and am very grateful to Dr. Brilakis. His expertise is unparalleled and he is a leader in his field, but he is very down-to-earth. I have a lot of respect for the team at Abbott Northwestern and what they did for me and have done for others.”