Cardiac Revascularization Program


The Government of BC announced in September 2007 that a cardiac revascularization (angioplasties and cardiac surgery) program would be developed in Kelowna.

The cardiac program is designed as an IH-wide program, intended to support the educational, diagnostic and treatment programs necessary to meet the challenge of delivering cardiac care to the Southern Interior region of BC.

The cardiac revascularization program was initiated in a two-phase process:

  • Phase 1 focused on the angioplasty program. The first Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI or angioplasty) procedure in Interior Health was successfully completed on November 16, 2009. Since then, approximately 1,000 PCIs have been completed annually.
  • Phase 2 focuses on cardiac surgery. Cardiac surgery will begin to be offered in December 2012.

On January 25, 2010, the Government of BC announced funding approval for the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre (IHSC).

Construction of the IHSC building began in 2013 and is projected to be complete by 2015.

Cardiac Surgery Program Q&As
Q: When will the first open heart procedure take place?

A: December 2012.

Q: Where will the surgical program be housed until the IHSC opens?

A: Cardiac surgery will take place in two dedicated Operating Rooms in the Strathcona Building at Kelowna General Hospital. There will also be a six-bed Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) and a 14-bed Cardiac Surgery Inpatient (CSIP) ward.

Q: How many open heart surgeries will be done annually?

A: 155 surgeries are planned from December 2012 to March 2013. After that, approximately 590 surgeries per year will be performed.

Q: Are there any cardiac surgeries that will not be done in Kelowna? In what situations will patients still have to go to the Coast for treatment?

A: Heart transplants and pediatric (child) cardiac surgeries will not be performed at KGH.

Q: How is having a cardiac surgery program in Interior Health going to benefit my community?

A: Residents of Interior Health who require heart surgery will now be provided care closer to home. Having a cardiac surgery program in Interior Health means improved access to services for diagnosing and treating heart disease. It also decreases the burden of traveling great distances, away from family and other supports, to receive care. Cardiac surgery will be more timely and there will be greater access to regional medical and clinical staff. This will improve the coordination of patient- and family-centered care within the Southern Interior.

Q: How many new staff and physicians will be involved in the cardiac surgery program?

A: The Cardiac Surgery Program will involve over 85 medical and clinical staff, including surgeons, cardiac anaesthetists, perfusionists, clinical nursing staff, anaesthesia assistants and support staff.

Q: How many cardiac surgeons will be working in the program?

A: There will be 3 surgeons at the start of program services at December 2012, with 4-5 surgeons in total over time.

Q: What additional education will be required at other Interior Health sites to support the program?

A: The Interior Health program will have pre-surgical screening and referral processes, which reflect greater regional coordination of services. Pre-printed orders may change slightly from the way they were done before. Sites will be consulted to discuss educational requirements and processes.

PCI Program Q&As

Q: How many PCI procedures have been done since the program started?

A: As of July 2012, approximately 2500 PCI procedures have been done at KGH. About 1,000 procedures per year are performed, primarily on Southern Interior residents.

Q: How successful has the PCI program been since it started?

A: We are saving lives, saving money, and saving financial and emotional hardship by delivering treatment to patients from communities throughout the Southern Interior.

  • The average mortality rate for this program is .53 in 100 patients (less than 1%) presenting at hospital with heart attack, compared to the national average of 1.69%
  • Survival rates for patients from the Southern Interior requiring a PCI have increased from 88% in 2005-06 to 97% in 2010-11.
  • The previous median wait time for patients in Interior Health needing a PCI was 3.7 days; it’s now less than half a day.
  • Almost half of the patients treated have come from outside the Okanagan-Similkameen region.

Q: How many interventional cardiologists are working in the program?

A: There are three interventional cardiologists who perform PCIs (angioplasties).



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