New service gives Noosa doctors a closer look at the heart
A procedure which provides doctors with a close-up view of the heart is now available to cardiac patients at Noosa Hospital.
16 The Ramsay Way 2020 | 01
Trans-oesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE) is a similar
procedure to an endoscopy, which involves sliding
a small probe down a patient’s throat under anaesthesia,
to capture high resolution images of the heart.
Noosa Hospital cardiologist, Prof Christian Hamilton-
Craig, said the procedure provides the ability to diagnose
heart conditions with increased accuracy and improved
resolution compared to a standard heart ultrasound.
“In some cases, the images can be 50 per cent more
accurate, particularly for diagnosing infections of the
heart,” Prof Hamilton-Craig said.
The 20-minute procedure is used in diagnosing and
treating various cardiac conditions, including:
• Endocarditis (an infection inside the heart)
• Atrial fibrillation (a common irregular rhythm)
• Identifying the need for heart valve surgery
TOE is also used to look for clots inside the heart prior to
a cardioversion, a procedure used to treat atrial fibrillation
which involves using a brief electric shock to reset the
heart to normal rhythm.
Noosa Hospital CEO, Oliver Steele, said: “We are always
looking for new ways to improve health care outcomes
for our patients, and incorporating beneficial new
technologies and techniques is an important part of that.”
“We are pleased to offer Trans-oesophageal
Echocardiogram at Noosa Hospital to maximise the ability
of our medical specialists to care for our cardiac patients,”
Mr Steele said.
Previously, Noosa patients requiring the TOE procedure
needed to travel for about an hour.
Prof Hamilton-Craig said: “I see people virtually every
day requiring this procedure, so it means a lot to the
community to have these services available locally.”
Twins avoid double
trouble after heart
surgery at Westmead
Twin 12-year-old boys have travelled from New
Caledonia to Sydney to undergo cardiac surgery
at Westmead Private Hospital.
Brothers Mael and Anthony have an autosomal dominant
inherited disorder, which was picked up approximately
four years ago. It has resulted in them having very high
The twins from Nouméa underwent cardiac bypass
surgery – separately, on the same day – under the care of
cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Ian Nicholson.
Following the procedures at Westmead Private Hospital,
both boys recovered well and have since returned to
helps to save
One of Westmead Private Hospital’s medical
specialists, A/Professor Pramesh Kovoor, was the
cardiologist on hand at Westmead (Public) Hospital
when celebrity children’s entertainer Greg Page arrived
after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The Yellow Wiggle was performing at a bushfire fundraising
concert in Sydney when he collapsed on the side of the stage.
Mr Page expressed his gratitude to A/Professor Kovoor and
staff at Westmead Hospital.
“When my life took a turn for the worst on Friday night I came
here to Westmead Hospital and I want to give a really huge
heartfelt, literally, thank you to all the staff, doctors, nurses and
Professor Kovoor, who helped save my life,” he said.
Associate Professor Pramesh Kovoor confirmed that Greg is
doing very well.
“I appreciate the lovely comments from Greg and it’s a privilege
to be in a position to help him,” A/Professor Kovoor said.
“No matter what lifestyle you live you can still be at risk
of a heart attack, so please look after your heart.”
Yellow Wiggle Greg Page and A/Professor Pramesh Kovoor. Photo courtesy: Professor Kovoor through Westmead Hospital.