December 12, 2012 - 11:15 AM
The first-ever open-heart surgery outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria was performed successfully last week in Kelowna and marks the beginning of a new program offered by Interior Health.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Guy Fradet on Luke Brockholm, a 54-year-old maintenance and operations supervisor who works at Penticton Airport. He was the first of what Interior Health expects will be roughly 600 patients a year who can take advantage of full cardiac care close to home. From December 2012 to March 2013, 150 surgeries are planned.
The cardiac surgery program at Interior Health promises improved access to services for diagnosing and treating heart disease and better follow-up care during recovery.
Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid and Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart were joined by Interior Health board chair Norman Embree, Dr. Guy Fradet, medical director of the Interior Health Cardiac Surgery Program and Luke Brockholm, to celebrate the milestone.
In 2009, Kelowna General Hospital became the first hospital outside of the Lower Mainland to perform angioplasties. Since the program started in November, 2009, almost 3,000 procedures have been performed.
Over 85 medical and clinical staff will be involved in the Cardiac Surgery Program, including surgeons, cardiac anaesthetists and anaesthetia assistants, clinical nursing staff, perfusionists and support staff. The program includes three surgeons.
The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District is contributing $70.7 million to the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project, which is expected to cost $367 million, while the cost of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre surgical building component is $169.1 million.
Surgeries are taking place in two renovated operating rooms at Kelowna General Hospital while the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre is being constructed. The centre is scheduled to open in mid-2015.
For more information on the Interior Health Surgical Centre project, visit www.buildingpatientcare.ca
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012