Cardiac catheterization lab opens at Michael Garron

Facility places East York hospital near top in Ontario for advanced cardiac care

Michael Garron Hospital staff show their new cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Michael Garron Hospital is now one of the few hospitals in Ontario to get a new cardiac catheterization lab.

This puts the hospital, formerly known as Toronto East General Hospital. in the top seven percentile for advanced cardiac care, says Dr. Mohammad Zia, head of cardiology at Michael Garron.

Among the 270 health care institutions in Ontario, there are only 19 catheter labs in the province.

“The new machine is able to provide high quality of images of the heart, which leads to more accurate diagnosis,” Zia said.

It uses a fraction of radiation doses that were being used previously, saving  time and exposure. All views of the heart’s arteries can be taken in one single injection with the camera rotating throughout, Zia said.

“This allows for the 3D images of the artery to be constructed with just one injection as opposed to multiple static views,” Dr. Zia said.

Michale Garron has one of the lowest complication rates of post-procedure and one of the highest survival rates after heart attack, he said. An average of 2,000 cardiac tests are done there every year, and a total of over 30,000 tests have been done since the lab has opened in 2001. Zia called it a “truly remarkable achievement.”

Cardiac tests were done at the Sunnybrook Hospital for the last three months during the renovation of the catheter lab at Michael Garron.

Irene Andress, director of medicine and nursing at Michael Garron, said medical staff from both hospitals were supportive of each other and worked elbow to elbow during the renovation.

“The multiple teams came together in both organizations to ensure the success of this project,” Andress said.

In catheterization, a thin tube is inserted in an artery or vein in the groin, neck, or arm. It is then threaded through the blood vessels that lead into the heart. This procedure is used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular problems.