Comprehensive Cardiac Services at Knox Heart Centre

We have over 30 years' experience in cardiac care and treat approximately 200 patients a month. With one of the fastest door to balloon times in the state, we consistently perform in this area to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Reducing the Door to balloon time (the time from when a patient arrives at the hospital to the time in which they have been treated by an Interventional Cardiologist) significantly reduces the risk of increased heart damage.

Heart disease often involves more than one medical condition and requires a team of medical specialists who manage and treat the disease as a whole. Knox Private has one of the largest teams of visiting echo-cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, in Eastern Victoria who work together to provide seamless patient care. 
Our comprehensive cardiac services include: 

Diagnostic Cardiology, 2 Catheterisation Laboratories and 1 Hybrid theatre, with Cath Lab capabilities for Interventional Cardiac procedures including TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation), Main theatres for Cardiothoracic surgery (open heart surgery), dedicated Cardiac wards, Coronary care and Intensive Care units.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are delivered at The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre, who are part of the broader Healthscope Community of Care. 

Take a tour of our Cardiology services below:

 

Knox Private Hospital is the largest and most established private hospital in the eastern region of Victoria specializing in diagnostic, elective and emergency cardiovascular care, including open heart surgery, 24/7.

Diagnostic cardiac services are available onsite at Knox Heart Centre. Interventional cardiac procedures are performed in our cardiac catheter laboratories. An additional hybrid theatre, with Cath Lab capabilities is available to provide further Interventional support. Cardiothoracic surgery (open heart surgery) is performed in one of the 15 operating theatres on-site.

 

Located onsite at Knox Private Hospital, we are able to streamline the care of private patients within the hospital and if necessary, our Cardiologists can facilitate follow up care of uninsured patients with local public hospitals.

We have 4 state of the art GE 4D ultrasound machines for use in transthoracic echocardiography, stress echocardiography and transoesophageal echocardiography, complete with a 4D TOE probe. We operate our own high quality Holter monitoring service utilizing small, lightweight Mortara monitors.

Stress echocardiography is a non-invasive test used primarily to screen for ischaemic heart disease. Unlike thallium scanning, stress echocardiography requires no radiation. The stress echocardiogram is performed by a cardiologist and experienced cardiac sonographer with results faxed to the referring doctor shortly after completion of the test. A stress echo compares the function of the left ventricle at rest to the performance immediately after peak exercise, identifying areas that may be affected by impaired coronary perfusion. The stress echocardiogram is limited to assessing left ventricular function. In some cases, the patient may need an echocardiogram in addition to the stress echo to comprehensively assess for structural abnormalities. In the instance where a patient has a positive result for stress echo, we will work with the referring doctor to expedite transition to angiography in either Knox private or public hospital.

Echocardiography is used to assess the structure and function of the heart using non-invasive, harmless ultrasound. It is a comprehensive assessment of the heart and great vessels. The echocardiogram includes examination of valves, chamber quantification, and interrogation of blood flow and assessment of systolic and diastolic function. Common indications included murmur for investigation, surveillance of known valvular disease, assessment of cardiomyopathy, quantification post myocardial infarction, assessment for cardiac source of embolism in stroke and TIA patients, screening for genetic conditions (Marfans syndrome, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), investigation of palpitations and assessment in atypical chest pain. Results are faxed to the referring doctor within 24-48 hours of the test being performed. If a significant pathology is identified, the sonographer will liaise with the referring doctor and Cardiologist to ensure prompt treatment can be provided.

We pride ourselves in offering full one hour appointments to ensure a full comprehensive study can be performed every time.

Holter monitoring is used to assess the patient’s ECG over a period of up to 24 hours. The tiny monitor is fitted which the patient returns 24 hours later for analysis by our experienced cardiac technologists.

A Cardiologist reviews the data and provides a written report to the referring doctor. In the case of significant arrhythmia, we will liaise with the referring doctor immediately to establish a plan of evaluation by a Cardiologist and hospital admission if required. Holter monitoring is frequently used to assess palpitations, syncope/pre-syncope, suspected arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation quantification. Please allow 15 minutes to have the Holter monitor fitted. Holter monitor to be returned 24 hours after the initial appointment.


Fees

Outpatient tests are BULK BILLED for pensioners and healthcare card holders.

We are able to accommodate patients at short notice if required by the referring doctor.


Referral

Download an electronic version of our referral form.

Should you require any further information about our services, or to book appointments, please call us on

9210 7060 Monday to Friday 8.00am to 5.00pm.


Diagnostic Imaging

Health Care Imaging, at Knox Private Hospital offer:

  • Coronary Calcium Scoring / IVP
  • Low dose CT Angiography & Cardiac CT
  • Doppler
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Peripheral Vascular Ultrasound

Click here for more information

The Knox Private Cardiac Cath Labs are the newest, state of the art Interventional Cath Labs in Eastern Victoria and allow our team to treat more patients in our community with time critical heart health issues

Cardioversion (DRC) is a day procedure performed to convert an abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation) to normal heart rhythm (sinus rhythm).

Coronary angiography is a minimally invasive x-ray procedure performed in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory using x-ray dye or contrast injected into the coronary arteries, and can identify narrowed or blocked coronary arteries and abnormalities of the heart muscle and heart valves.

Coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory to open closed or narrowed coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle, using a balloon procedure and stent implantation to restore blood flow.

Heart valve implantation is performed for high risk, elderly patients with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve), whereby a new aortic valve is implanted in the same location as the diseased valve, avoiding the need for conventional open heart surgery.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small electronic device that is inserted under the skin in the upper chest/shoulder area with special wires passed through a vein into the heart chambers. It senses dangerously abnormal heart rhythms and delivers pacing or a small shock to restore normal heart rhythm when required.

Percutaneous transluminal septal myocardial ablation (PTSMA) is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory to reduce the overgrowth of heart muscle associated with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) is a semi-invasive ultrasound imaging of the heart under light sedation via a transducer placed in the oesophagus which enables closer and much clearer views of the heart muscle, heart valves and the sac around the heart.

Balloon valvuloplasty procedure is performed minimally invasively in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory to open narrowed or stenosed heart valves including the aortic valve (aortic valvuloplasty) and the mitral valve (mitral valvuloplasty).

  • A pacemaker (PPM) is a small electronic device that is inserted under the skin in the upper chest/shoulder area with connecting wires passed through a vein to the heart. The pacemaker senses if the heart rhythm is abnormally slow allowing stimulation of heart activity when required.
  • Implantation of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), including biventricular pacing devices for the treatment of advanced heart failure
  • Trans-telephonic monitoring
  • Laser-assisted lead extraction of chronic infected or non-functional devices
  • Catheter-based ablation for complex supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias, using state-of-the-art mapping systems, intracardiac echocardiography, and pulsed fluoroscopy, all of which limit radiation exposure.
  • Coronary bypass surgery (CAGs), including total arterial grafting (coronary artery bypass graft - CABG) and off-pump surgery
  • Cardiac valve repair & replacement
  • Reconstruction/ replacement of the thoracic aorta, including the arch
  • Radio frequency ablation for life-threatening arrhythmias
  • Correction of congenital cardiac abnormalities in adults

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are offered at The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre (VRC)

The program is designed to educate, recondition and improve functional confidence with increased endurance for patients following cardiac pathology or surgery.

VRC inpatient (Phase I) and outpatient (Phase II) comprehensive rehabilitation services.

The cardiac rehabilitation team, comprising of Rehabilitation Physicians, specialised nursing staff and allied health professionals, develop a tailored cardiac management plan tailored to your needs.

The goals of cardiac rehabilitation include:

  • Maximising physical, psychological, and social recovery
  • Minimising the progression of coronary artery disease
  • Reducing risk factors and adopting a healthier lifestyle
  • Successful return to work, home and recreational activities

Knox Private Hospital has successfully gained accreditation to provide a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI also called TAVR) program.

The TAVI program at Knox Private Hospital is led by Associate Professor Sonny Palmer, Cardiologist specializing in Coronary & Structural Heart Intervention. The program is supported by Dr. Dinesh Natarajan, Interventional and Structural Heart Cardiologist and Program Coordinator, Dianne D’Rosario.

The TAVI program is further supported by the Knox Private multidisciplinary team which includes some of the most experienced interventional and rhythm management cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, intensivists, anaesthetists, vascular surgeons and medical physicians in Victoria.

Knox Private Hospital is the only private hospital in Melbourne’s East to offer the TAVI program.

TAVI is an extension of an already comprehensive list of cardiac services we provide to our community. Knox Private has two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, state of the art theatres to support major cardiac surgery as well as a 24 hour emergency department that has access to specialist doctors and facilities around the clock.

Who needs a TAVI procedure?

Patients experiencing symptoms caused by impaired functioning of the aortic valve may be recommended to have a TAVI procedure.

When patients are referred by a GP or other specialist doctor to a Knox Cardiologist, the Knox Cardiac team will assess them and determine whether they would be a suitable candidate for the TAVI procedure.

What is Aortic Stenosis?

The aortic valve is one of the four valves in your heart. The primary function of the heart valves is to maintain blood flow in one direction. The aortic valve opens and closes allowing blood to flow from the main pumping chamber of the heart (Left Ventricle) to the rest of your body.

Aortic stenosis is the condition whereby the aortic valve narrows. As we age, calcium can build up on the valve leaflets, making the valve thicker and more rigid. The narrowing of the aortic valve reduces blood supply to the rest of the body as well as puts a strain on the heart.

Aortic Stenosis can also be caused by a birth defect and rheumatic fever.

Patients experiencing symptoms of aortic stenosis may be recommended a TAVI procedure to help replace the impaired aortic valve.

What at the symptoms of Aortic Stenosis?

Because of the restricted blood flow, people may experience symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty walking short distances, light headedness or dizziness and fainting, swollen ankles and feet, rapid heartbeat and chest pain.

If you experience any of the above, please visit your GP, Cardiologist or call 000.

What is a TAVI?

TAVI is an advanced, minimally-invasive cardiac procedure to replace the impaired aortic valve.

Where is TAVI available?

TAVI is only available at select hospitals across Australia. Healthscope’s Melbourne Private Hospital was one of the first private hospitals in Victoria to pioneer TAVI procedures. The program attracts a large number of referrals across Victoria and interstate. TAVI is offered at St Vincent’s Private in Melbourne and at major public hospitals in Victoria.

For more information about the Knox Private Hospital TAVI program, please contact:

Dianne D’Rosario, TAVI Program Coordinator on 0405 887 374

Information for Referrers:

General Practitioners and Specialist doctors can contact the TAVI Program Lead, Associate Professor Sonny Palmer to discuss TAVI, a patient who may require a TAVI procedure or to arrange a referral.

To refer your patient to any of the Knox Private Cardiologists, please visit the Specialist search function on this website link

Patient Resources:

CLICK HERE to download our brochure

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