For the first time, Mater Dei hospital has changed into a centre of excellence as cardiologists from some of the world’s best hospitals came here to see how they can apply a new system so that patients can be treated with more precision.
For many years, professionals in the field of cardiology used to only analyse the X-ray of the heart’s arteries to decide what intervention they should carry out, however with an investment made last year at Mater Dei, cardiologists can now see the artery from the inside and evaluate the best treatment for patients.
Mater Dei has just invested in advanced technological equipment by means of which cardiologists do not just look at the angiogram to decide what type of heart surgery they need to do. Now they can look with more precision at the physiology of the artery by peering inside it and seeing exactly what there is, including the pressure, how wide it is, whether there is any narrowing or some type of fat which is blocking the artery.
The Chairperson of the Cardiology Department at Mater Dei, Dr Robert Xuereb said that this is an important development in the treatment of heart disease in Malta and for the first time cardiologists who head their respective cardiology departments in hospitals in the UK, France, Portugal, Croatia, and Brazil visited Mater Dei which has turned into a teaching centre.
“It is a breakthrough not only for the treatment of patients but even in education and training as we teach them certain things which they can then introduce in their own countries. These are courses which are described as centres of excellence which are held in the top specialised hospitals in Europe, which means we have become one of these centres of excellence.”
As a result of substantial investment in video conferencing equipment at the illustration unit of Mater Dei, the international cardiologist course was an interactive one, as explained by Dr Brian Cassar.
“They can see exactly what the surgeon is doing, how he is operating, and they can see the output of various machines which are in the operating theatres. Most importantly of all they can interact in real time where the audience can ask certain questions to the surgeon about what is happening and he can reply to them.”
The aim of the Cardiology Department is for two courses to be held every year at this level. As for the treatment of Maltese patients, he said that after the work carried out last year for the rays in the Cath suites to be significantly reduced, now they have passed on to the development of the third Cath suite which is dedicated to more complicated heart surgeries.