Innovative New Cardiac Operating Room Opens at St. Paul's Hospital

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Surgeons and cardiologists at the Providence
Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital have a new $3.8-million
state-of-the-art cardiac operating room to accommodate the growing number of
breakthrough heart procedures being pioneered at the facility.
    The newly equipped operating room features advanced technology that will
help support the growing number of patients who can now be helped with
specialized minimally invasive heart procedures that, for BC and Canada, are
only done at St. Paul's Hospital. Experts predict that minimally invasive
heart surgery will become an alternative for patients of all ages.
    "This is British Columbia's first ever Advanced Cardiac Imaging Operating
Room," said Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt on behalf of Health
Minister George Abbott. "The innovative addition to St. Paul's Hospital will
contribute to world-leading research in the surgical management of heart
disease as well as providing new procedures and leading-edge quality care for
British Columbians."
    One such procedure pioneered at the hospital is known as minimally
invasive apical heart-valve surgery. This new corrective procedure uses a
revolutionary folding heart valve, which is inserted into the heart through a
small (less than 10 cm) incision between the patient's ribs. The heart beats
normally through the procedure and there is no need to use the heart lung
bypass machine required for most open-heart surgeries. Patients are able to
avoid the rigours and potential complications of open-heart surgery.
    Specialists performing these procedures depend on advanced x-ray and
ultrasound imaging technology capable of producing detailed, real-time moving
images of the inside of the heart. The new procedure room is equipped with the
best possible technology for providing these images, which are displayed on
multiple video imaging monitors throughout the room. Other uses of the new
room will include open-heart surgery, percutaneous valve replacements,
laser-assisted pacemaker lead extractions and repairs of weaknesses in the
major vessels close to the heart.
    The new advanced imaging operating room will also allow Providence
Heart + Lung Institute heart specialists to broadcast images to auditoriums
and classrooms around the world.
    "Through $3-million in funds provided by donors to the St. Paul's
Hospital Foundation, along with $750,000 in capital support from the
provincial government and Vancouver Coastal Health, we've made design and care
improvements that will optimize the use of resources for care, while helping
to attract and retain world-class health professionals," said Dianne Doyle,
President and CEO of Providence Health Care. "These investments will lead to
new knowledge, new disease-prevention methods, and better treatments for heart
    Donor funds will also equip the new room with other heart surgery
essentials such as a heart/lung machine, anesthesia equipment and
sophisticated patient monitors.
    "Our donors can feel very proud to be such an important part of this
spirit of innovation at St. Paul's, said Stephen Shapiro, President & CEO of
the St. Paul's Hospital Foundation. "Our supporters locally, nationally and
internationally have made significant contributions to cardiac care and
research. On behalf of the many people who will benefit directly from our
donors' generosity, we thank them for recognizing the leadership role of
St. Paul's in this field and stepping forward with their wholehearted support
for this important project."

    About the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital

    Launched in June 2007, the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at
St. Paul's Hospital merges and integrates all of Providence's heart and lung
research, education and care programs under one umbrella. Its mandate is to
transform cardiovascular and pulmonary research and care-transferring new care
solutions from the laboratory to the clinics and communities to improve the
lives of British Columbians.
    An integral part of the Institute is the Heart Centre at St. Paul's
Hospital, which is BC's most comprehensive referral centre for patients with
heart disease, a major teaching facility for cardiac professionals, and a
leader in investigating heart disease causes and treatments. It is the only
place in the province providing special heart initiatives such as:

    -   heart transplants;
    -   ventricular assist device support for patients with life-threatening
        heart failure;
    -   the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) Clinic for adults born with
        congenital heart defects;
    -   a Metabolic Syndrome Clinic to help prevent chronic health problems
        like heart disease and diabetes in people especially at risk;
    -   highly specialized heart procedures such as pacemaker lead removal
    -   Canada's first research chair preventive cardiology - the
        Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon Chair in
        Cardiovascular Prevention Research

For further information:

For further information: Justin Karasick, Providence Health Care
Communications, Cell (604) 992-2503, Tel. (604) 806-8460

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