The cardiac care centre at Netcare Olivedale Hospital in Johannesburg has been completely refurbished and equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to enable the diagnosis and treatment of a comprehensive range of cardiac and cardiovascular and other vascular conditions to be optimised.
“The cardiac care centre includes a completely renovated cardiac catheterisation laboratory, a dedicated cardiac theatre, a dedicated cardiac intensive care unit managed by intensive care trained staff, as well as a 26-bed cardiac general ward. It also has a rehabilitation service available for cardiovascular patients, as well as a comfortable visitors’ lounge adjoining the centre, where appropriate support can be provided to family members,” said Jacques du Plessis, managing director of the Netcare hospital division, who formally opened the facility recently.
“Cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, a neuro-radiologist and other specialists, backed by trained nursing staff and healthcare practitioners who are passionate about the care of patients, serve this superb newly upgraded unit. The upgrades take the facility firmly into the future to the benefit of our patients, as care that is internationally comparable can be provided at the centre,” added Du Plessis.
According to Du Plessis, conditions that can be treated at the centre range from intricate minimally invasive interventions to treat brain aneurysms to traditional open-heart surgery.
Dr Robert Routier, an interventional cardiologist who practises at Netcare Olivedale Hospital, says he is most gratified with the upgrade of the centre, which is spacious, well equipped to facilitate the work of the cardiovascular surgeons and interventional specialists and has a streamlined design to optimise patient care.
“The dedicated cardiac theatre is situated adjacent to the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, which eliminates any time delay if immediate surgical intervention is indicated. This provides us with something close to a hybrid theatre, greatly facilitating a multi-disciplinary and integrated team approach in the case of patients with complex cardiovascular conditions,” he explains.
According to Dr Routier, the modern cardiac catheterisation laboratory is equipped with a cutting-edge new Siemens Artis Q angiography system. This technology enables interventional specialists to perform angiograms, which are used to assist in the diagnosis of cardiovascular conditions; angioplasty, a minimally invasive endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins; place stents, which are a device that is implanted to support diseased arteries, as well as to implant pacemakers.”
Dr Routier says the Artis Q system offers enhanced 3D imaging quality and higher contrast resolution. “This means that it provides excellent visibility of arteries, as well as of the small interventional devices and hence guidance for minimally invasive procedures that we undertake, even at the most challenging of angles. The system is also designed to accommodate larger patients.”
The Artis Q system operates at reduced radiation levels, which enhances the safety of patients and the doctors and staff who work with the technology.
Among the rich set of specialised services available at the cardiac care centre are interventional neuro-radiology, which is provided through interventional neuro-radiologist, Professor Victor Mngomezulu and his team.
They manage neurovascular diseases such as brain aneurysm, brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and acute stroke management. Aneurysm guidance neuro software at the centre provides automatic 3D measurements on a cerebral aneurysm, and enables the stenting and repair of brain aneurysms.
General manager of Netcare Olivedale Hospital, Linda Bhagaloo says that, in addition to Dr Routier and Professor Mngomezulu, a number of other leading specialists form part of the team at the centre. They include well-known cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Larry Rampini; and cardiologists Dr Ricardo Gonçalves, Dr Leonid Goldberg, Dr Maggie Wasiak and Dr Mohamed Iqbal Khan.
“Netcare Olivedale Hospital is immensely proud to be able to offer these highly specialised services through our cutting-edge, newly refurbished cardiac care centre,” adds Bhagaloo.
“The cardiovascular teams at the hospital have always offered an outstanding service with excellent outcomes. However, this new specialised cardiovascular complex with its modern technologies will greatly assist them in offering an enhanced service and facilitate cooperation and a team approach across various disciplines, to the benefit of our patients,” she concludes.