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Patient Home to Recover One Day After Heart Procedure

9th November 2012

Patient Home to Recover One Day After Heart Procedure

More Bay of Plenty residents are getting better access to the benefits of a state of the art treatment for heart disease that began being carried out at Tauranga Hospital in April.

“After my heart attack I had a stent put in and was already at home recovering the day after the operation,” said Roger Ward, the 50th patient to receive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) treatment at Tauranga Hospital.

PCI is a minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon is used to expand a narrowed or blocked coronary artery. This is done via a small catheter passed via an artery in the arm or groin and usually involves the insertion of a stent (a small metal lattice-work structure that helps to keep the artery open).

“The procedure was so simple and straightforward,” said Roger, “I was awake the entire time, and everything was explained to me in layman’s terms from start to finish. I understood what was happening every step of the way, and experienced no pain at all, just mild discomfort.”

More than 50 PCIs have been carried out since Tauranga Hospital began offering the service in April. Consultant Cardiologist Doctor Barry Kneale says in the past Bay of Plenty patients had to travel to the Waikato for this treatment, ““We now offer timely, quality treatment for coronary artery disease right here in the Bay.”

The PCI procedure generally takes less than an hour and is performed under local anaesthetic/sedation. The patient takes oral medication after the procedure for up to 12 months to prevent clot formation in the opened artery segment.

“The recovery has been so much faster than if I’d had open heart surgery,” said Roger, “I’ve been on a Cardiac Rehab Course since the operation, where I learn about diet and fitness. It’s been great to get back on track.”


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