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Heart Patients Have New Minimally Invasive Treatment Option

Crossboss (Credit:

Johnny Young is no stranger to heart disease.  The 40-year-old Hartville resident had double bypass surgery and stents put in around three years ago.  Then late last year he had more stents, and just last month he says the main artery to his heart became completely blocked.

Coxhealth had just begun using a new method for clearing blockages a few months before, and Young was a perfect candidate.

Young was diagnosed with chronic total occlusion or CTO for which there are few treatment options.  Bypass is one, but it carries risks and a lengthy recovery time.

Last month, Young was able to undergo treatment using the Cross boss and Stingray Coronary CTO Crossing and Re-entry system.  The devices attack blockages from behind through smaller arteries. 

Dr. Mark Anderson, who performs the procedure at Coxhealth, says it’s much less invasive than bypass surgery.

"The problem with bypass surgery is that they have to cut your sternum, and for that to heal it's like a broken bone, and so there's no lifting over ten pounds for two months.  With this procedure there's no lifting over ten pounds for five days," he says.

The Crossboss is basically a dull drill, he says, which surgeons twirl in their hands to gently maneuver through blockages.  The Stingray is used in conjunction with the Crossboss.

Patients who undergo the procedure go home the next day.  Dr. Anderson says they can resume all activities after just five days.

"A lot of times the very next morning they go, 'oh, I feel so much better.'  I had a gentleman that we did yesterday, and I just saw him before I got on the phone, and he was saying, 'I can tell a difference already,'" he says.

Dr. Anderson says it gives patients back their quality of life.

Johnny Young says, after undergoing the procedure, he could tell a difference in the way he felt pretty quickly.

"I'm not as tired like I have been.  It took a lot of my tiredness out, and I can do a lot more physical stuff now than what I used to," he says.

He says the medical staff “did a miracle for him.”