Support St Vincent’s Interventional Cardiology Service

Prof David Muller is the Director of St Vincent’s Interventional Cardiology Service, where he leads a world class team of doctors and nurses to deliver life-transforming cardiac care. By replacing or clipping faulty heart valves, fixing holes in hearts, and expanding arteries with stents, their work helps patients live longer, happier and healthier lives.

In the last year they have treated over 3,000 patients, many who were too sick or frail to withstand open heart surgery. St Vincent’s has led the way in Australia, and often globally, with years of research and clinical trials to develop the expertise in techniques that help clinicians reach the heart without the need for open heart surgery.

Much of this work was made possible through the generous support that our donors have given us.

Prof Muller’s team recently performed a ground-breaking transcatheter tricuspid valve implant procedure on a frail, 76-year-old patient. This intervention saved the patient from open-heart surgery, with doctors successfully threading a new valve through her arteries instead.  The team practised on a 3D printed plastic model of the patient’s heart in advance of the procedure.

This truly life-saving intervention was possible as a result of donations to St Vincent’s Curran Foundation. The patient is recovering well and is enormously grateful to our generous supporters.

Carl Wilson is another grateful patient who feels he owes his life to Prof Muller’s team. Last year, the retired professional swimmer started experiencing unusual shoulder pain and shortness of breath while swimming his regular laps. As a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games competitor, he still spent a lot of time in the pool.

“At my peak, I’d spend 4-5 hours training each day. Sure, I got tired but I made myself push on. Since retiring, I’ve enjoyed regular social swimming.

“Around Christmas, I developed a gnawing shoulder pain, was out of breath and tired all the time. I just couldn’t keep up. It was when one of my friends insisted I have my heart checked that I eventually came to meet the team at St Vincent’s.”

Carl had an angiogram that showed one of his coronary arteries was 97% blocked. Intervention was urgently needed. The Interventional Cardiology team inserted a fine catheter through his wrist and into the artery and ballooned open a stent, which pushed the blockage to the side, allowing a full flow of blood to pass through. All this was done while he was lightly anaesthetised, alert and without the need for open heart surgery.

“Soon afterwards, my shoulder pain had gone and I was no longer tired. I felt like my old self again. My wife even says I’ve stopped snoring. I will never be able to adequately thank the doctors and staff who cared for me at St Vincent’s.”

Now, we need your continued support to invest in the latest technology for a major upgrade of our three Interventional Cardiology Suites.

An essential element of the upgraded facilities will be the purchase of two CX50 Ultrasound machines with new imaging probes and one IntraSight Intravascular Ultrasound machine to be used in our Interventional Cardiology Suites. They will provide state-of-the-art imaging to allow safe vascular access for placement of large diameter vascular catheters, and allow cross sectional imaging of the artery wall from inside the vessel. This advanced technology keeps us at the forefront of endovascular healthcare, treating patients with highly complex conditions that could otherwise be left untreated, with associated deterioration in their quality of life.

We’re asking for your support to help us raise a further $250,000 towards the purchase and installation of the CX50 Ultrasound machines to dramatically improve our life-saving care. Whatever donation you can make will help Prof Muller and his team continue to mend broken hearts and save lives for many years to come.

We truly thank you in advance for your support.