St. Luke's Heart Institute: At the forefront of patient care

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St. Luke’s Heart Institute provides the best possible care to patients with cardiovascular diseases. It exemplifies St. Luke’s Medical Center’s unequalled excellence in expertise, technology, quality of healthcare outcomes, and service for total quality patient care.

The topnotch cardiologists and surgeons of St. Luke’s have the most advanced medical equipment in the Philippines at their disposal. With a 99 percent success rate in percutaneous cardiac intervention and 99 percent procedural success in open-heart surgeries, the Institute’s superior diagnostic efficiency and clinical success rate is comparable with the best medical centers in the world.*

This influenced Mr. Tjahjar Hendradinarta, a 69-year-old businessman from Indonesia, when he needed to undergo a procedure. “When my doctor instructed me to undergo a comprehensive heart check-up, I decided on St. Luke’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory in the Philippines,” he says.

The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory or Cathlab is an integral part of St. Luke’s Heart Institute. Its diagnostic procedures can comprehensively assess and confirm the presence of coronary artery disease. Early detection will significantly reduce the heart attack risk and raises the chance of successful treatment. Cardiac catheterization also reveals valuable information within the heart, such as oxygen levels, blood pressure levels and the heart muscles’ pumping ability.

The first step was for Mr. Hendradinarta to undergo cardiac catheterization. Doctors insert a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) into an artery or vein usually located in the groin area. They then thread the catheter through major blood vessels into the coronary arteries or heart chambers. A television screen monitors the catheter’s progress through the artery.

Mr. Hendradinarta was next given a procedure called intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) using a device embedded on the tip of the cardiac catheter. This is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the heart and its arteries, enabling doctors to detect the presence of plaque and the degree of narrowing in heart arteries—the culprits of heart attack.

Using the same catheter, doctors also performed a coronary angiogram. This involves injecting a dye into the heart’s arteries through the catheter. The dye makes all arteries and their potential blockages visible to x-ray. Coronary angiograms are safe and straightforward, and are performed as an outpatient procedure where patients are completely awake.

“The IVUS and Coronary Angiogram provided my doctors an accurate measure of how much my arteries had narrowed, which helped them come up with a targeted treatment plan,” says Mr. Hendradinarta.

Trusted by heart patients for two decades

Patients with heart disorders have entrusted their medical care to St. Luke’s Heart Institute for the past 21 years.

The Joint Commission International (JCI), the world’s most prestigious healthcare accreditation body, affirmed St. Luke’s unequalled excellence in healthcare delivery in 2003. In 2006, it was the first hospital in the Philippines and only the second in Asia to receive JCI re-accreditation among only 32 institutions in the region.

“St. Luke’s is committed to continuously delivering excellent healthcare,” says Mr. Jose F.G. Ledesma, President and CEO of St. Luke’s Medical Center. “We constantly strive to exceed customer expectations.”

St. Luke’s Heart Institute also offers cutting-edge cardiac diagnostic imaging tests such as Thallium Stress Testing with Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT). The latter involves injecting radioactive thallium, which serves as a tracer, into the bloodstream, where it attaches itself to the muscle cells of the heart for the gamma-imaging camera to take pictures of the heart muscles. This provides a nuclear scan to reveal areas of the heart that are not getting enough blood.

*Based on data from 30-day post-operative survival rates recorded by St. Luke’s Heart Institute Cardiovascular Disease Information System (CVDIS), US National Medicare experience, latest Morbidity and Mortality Statistics on Coronary Bypass Surgery and Angioplasty, and The Best Hospitals for Heart and Heart Surgery 2005-2006.