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Kelowna General Hospital celebrates heart surgery milestone

alistair waters

Black Press

A specialized new cardiac care centre is still more than two years away from opening at Kelowna General Hospital but that hasn’t stopped doctors and nurses there from reaching a milestone in open heart surgeries.

On Wednesday, the cardiac surgery team at KGH performed its the 100th open heart surgery.

Doctors Guy Fradet, Calvin Wan and Ahmad Poostizadeh have been performing cardiac surgeries since early December 2012 at a rate of about two per day.

“We’ve done procedures on patients from Trail to Peachland, from Kamloops, the Shuswap and Vernon and even Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake,” said Fradet, medical director of the Interior Health Cardiac Surgery Program. “This is an Interior-wide program that is bringing a very patient- and family-centred approach to cardiac care, prevention and health promotion.”

The surgeries are taking place in two renovated operating rooms at the hospital while the $367 million Interior Heart and Surgical Centre is being built. The centre is scheduled to open in mid 2015.

About 600 cardiac surgeries per year are expected to be performed at KGH once the new centre is up and running, ensuring patients do not have to travel as far as they used to to receive care.

Four years ago, Kelowna General became the first hospital outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria to perform percutaneous coronary interventions, or angioplasties. Since that program started in November 2009, more than 3,000 procedures have been performed.

Cardiac surgery was previously only performed at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, and St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital.

 

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