Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital Hospital
1 000 life-saving heart procedures and counting
SA cardiologist places Cape Town at the forefront of international medicine
Friday, 29 January 2016
A Cape Town based cardiologist and his surgical team has once again placed
the city at the forefront of international medicine, by completing 1 000 successful life-saving heart
procedures with the aid of a robotic catheter system. This is among the highest number of procedures of this kind ever to be performed by a single surgical team in the world. The 1 000th patient, 68-old year Mr Petrus Venter, who is retired, travelled all the way from Namibia to undergo the procedure at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Up-and-about less than four hours after his operation yesterday, Mr Venter said that his journey to Cape Town in search of better health had been well worthwhile and had paid dividends for him. He is looking forward to his discharge from hospital later today and anticipates being back home in Namibia by this time next week.
Dr Lorgat is the only cardiologist specialising in electrophysiology at Netcare Christiaan Barnard
Memorial Hospital and one of only a handful in South Africa. The Cape Town facility was the first in
the southern hemisphere to use the cutting edge technology offered by the Sensei robotic catheter
system. Dr Lorgat’s vision of transforming Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital into an international referralcentre for the treatment of arrhythmias has become a reality and today the facility treats patients such as Mr Venter from around South Africa and the continent. The electrophysiology unit at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is well known for its firsts. The Lynx catheter system had never before been used to treat arrhythmias in the left ventricleuntil Dr Lorgat became the first cardiologist ever to perform this procedure utilising Lynx technology, and he has since successfully treated a number of patients with this condition.
Dr Faizel Lorgat, a cardiologist practising at Netc are Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, specialises in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders or arrhythmias and was one of the first medical specialist in the world to perform the complex procedure using the sophisticated Sensei robotic catheter system, late in 2009. “Dr Lorgat has consistently broken boundaries in this field of medicine and has now once againreached a most remarkable medical milestone,” says Chris Tilney, general manager of Netcare
Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. “What is particularly noteworthy is that no patient has ever
been lost during a robotics procedure, with so me patients even going on to participate in competitive sports such as rugby, cycling and swimming at a national level.” Dr Lorgat explains that the procedure involves using a special catheter fitted with a radio frequency device which works like a laser to cauterise or ablate over active or damaged electrical pathways that cause electrical disturbances in the heart. This enables the heart’s rhythm to return to normal, reducing the need for other treatments such as pacemakers and medication. He says the robotic system allows greater control over the catheter compared to the manual techniques that have traditionally been used.