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1000 Heart Procedures Completed by World-class Unit

Thursday 9 March, 2017

1000 Heart Procedures Completed by World-class Bay of Plenty Unit

A cardiac services team is celebrating completing its one-thousandth procedure meaning care closer to home for Bay patients.

The Bay Of Plenty District Health Board’s (BOPDHB) Cardiac Services Team, based at Tauranga Hospital, has just performed its one-thousandth Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). The milestone represented high quality care on their doorstep for Bay residents said cardiologist Dr Jonathan Tisch.

“Before April 2012, patients requiring a stent would have had to travel to Waikato Hospital for a procedure; with all that potentially entailed, travel, accommodation, etc,” said Dr Tisch. “That is no longer the case and we average around 240 PCIs from our unit at Tauranga Hospital each year.

“PCIs are where we open a heart artery via a tube through the skin rather than undertaking open heart surgery. It’s minimally invasive which means the majority of these patients only require an overnight stay afterwards.

“We go in through the wrist and a thin tube is threaded up through a blood vessel into the heart. We inject dye and take X-ray pictures to see where the narrowing of the artery is and then, if it’s suitable, open that up with a little wire scaffold over a balloon. That opens the artery up and allows the blood through again.”

The unit began with one stent cardiologist, Dr Barry Kneale, who was joined by Dr KL Chow in July 2016. The cardiologists are supported by an expert nursing team, radiographers and technologists.

Dr Tisch said the unit’s results were audited and the excellent success rates, and extremely low complication rates, bore comparison with any cardiology unit in the world. It completed its one-thousandth PCI on Thursday 26 February.

“1000 procedures have been performed successfully, locally, nearer to people’s homes, which is great news for the community we serve,” said Dr Tisch.

The news comes on the back of the BOPDHB’s new Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab) taking its first patient on the afternoon of Monday 16 January. The Cath Lab forms part of the Cardiac Services Building 50 development at the hospital which also includes a new clinical physiology area.


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