Team approach provides top careDate:
Cabrini holds a special place in the hearts of many Victorians having performed many thousands of cardiac operations over the past 30 years from open heart surgeries to minimally invasive procedures.
“Certainly we have come a long way since the first open heart surgery was performed at Cabrini in October 1985,” says Dr Simon Woods, Executive Director of Cabrini Malvern, the centre of Cabrini’s cardiac services. “With some of the world’s best cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, the latest technology and equipment such as our hybrid operating theatre, expertise in the latest techniques and a first-class cardiac rehabilitation program, more lives are saved at Cabrini than ever before.”
Cabrini is committed to the highest standards of patient care and supports the involvement of both surgeons and cardiologists in performing the minimally invasive aortic valve procedure, commonly known as TAVI. “Cabrini cardiologists and surgeons have been performing these procedures for two years,” says Dr Woods. “Not all patients with aortic valve disease are appropriate for the TAVI procedure and may be better served with a surgical valve replacement, therefore all patients are assessed by a team comprising both surgeons and cardiologists to ensure that the appropriate procedure is chosen.”
Cabrini believes that a multidisciplinary team approach ensures that the best and safest option is chosen for patients considering this operation. Further, Cabrini ensures that the multidisciplinary approach continues during the actual procedure. “The operation is performed in our purpose-built hybrid operating theatre, part of our surgical theatre complex at Cabrini Malvern,” says Dr Woods. “There is a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon, an anaesthetist and specialty perioperative nurses involved, as well as a cardiac bypass machine and perfusion technician onhand if needed – so everything is in place to cover all possibilities and ensure the best outcome for all patients with this complex and precise procedure.”
Cabrini supports rigorous guidelines on who can perform these procedures and where they can be performed. “We believe that cardiologists and surgeons working together can deliver the best outcomes for patients,” says Dr Woods. “The Federal Government should make the valves available only to services that provide a comprehensive program and as with all medical procedures, patients should ask questions and ensure that this is the right procedure for them and that the hospital has all possible safeguards in place.”
Advances in cardiac care at Cabrini
- Our TAVI service which means that elderly patients who have aortic stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the outlet valve from the heart to the body, can have a less invasive way of replacing their heart valves via transcatheter aortic valve implantation or TAVI. A new valve, mounted onto a balloon delivery catheter, is fed through the femoral artery to the heart. Once in place, the balloon expands and begins to function immediately.
- Cabrini Malvern’s hybrid operating theatre where the TAVIs are performed has some of the most advanced, low dose imaging equipment in Australia housed in a fully functioning operating theatre environment. This purpose-built facility has enabled us to expand the number of cardiac interventional procedures we perform, and provides high-tech facilities for vascular surgery and others that require advanced imaging. It is used for three-dimensional mapping procedures for management of complex cardiac arrhythmias and other emerging interventions.
- A procedure – the MitraClip – is now used in the care of patients with severe heart failure and mitral regurgitation, a condition where the mitral valve fails to seal shut and there is a backflow of blood from the heart’s left ventricle to the left atrium. If untreated, the heart can no longer pump enough blood around the body, causing extreme fatigue and shortness of breath.
- The STEMI program, which ensures patients having a heart attack receive urgent restoration of blood flow to their coronary arteries within a critical 90 minutes of arriving at hospital. Known as ‘door-to-balloon’, the system measures the time of arrival of a patient to the time a catheter is threaded into the arteries of the heart to open a blockage by inflating a balloon.
- Two cardiac catheterisation laboratories (opened at Cabrini Malvern in April 2015), equipped with the latest technology to handle both the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Equipped with the most sophisticated x-ray imaging systems, which are key to minimally invasive cardiac and cardiovascular procedures, each is made up of five modules all working together to provide data about heart function, blood flow, heart valves and where a blockage is located within an artery.
“Cabrini’s reputation as a heart centre has been forged by the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, supporters and donors – this has enabled us to keep up with the latest technology while developing state-of- the-art medical facilities including our own pathology and medical imaging services,” said Dr Woods.
Cabrini is a Catholic, charitable institution sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which provides health and health-related services in Australia. Founded in 1948, Cabrini’s services in Australia span aged care, cancer care, cardiac services, emergency medicine, health promotion, home/community-based care, maternity services, paediatric care, palliative care, rehabilitation, research and education, as well as social and community outreach services.
Media information: contact Christine Elmer ph (03) 9508 1216 or 0459 811 693 or Jackie Meiers ph (03) 9508 1915 or 0419 009 146, Cabrini marketing and community relations department.