by Liza Agoot / Baguio Midland Courier
Families of patients having heart illnesses needing open heart surgery need not bring their relatives to Metro Manila for the operation.
Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital, owned and managed by Saint Paul Congregation, has just conducted the first open heart surgery in the city.
The hospital has invested in the setting up of a cardio vascular operating room equipping it with the machines required for the conduct of an open heart operation.
Notre Dame hospital medical director, Dr. Edwin Cosalan, said that the sisters of St. Paul came up with the facility because there are now several specialists who are capable of doing the procedure, who do not need to go down or refer their patients for surgery in Metro Manila.
The cathlab, Cosalan said, was set up by the hospital to encourage the cardiologists or the thoracic cardio vascular surgeons to come to Baguio.
A cathlab is a special diagnostic procedure that determines heart illnesses.
“It is an investment for the future because there is a need, there are people who are capable of doing the procedure as well as a need to upgrade the medical facilities in Baguio City,” Cosalan said. He added, “we have a lot of Ilocano speaking specialists.”
Norte Dame was re-established five years ago as a diagnostic center. A year after, the sisters of St. Paul decided to make it a 50-bed hospital which continues to operate up to now.
Upon the completion of the new building of Notre Dame, it will become a 100-bed capacity hospital catering to various needs not only of the residents of Baguio but even the neighboring towns and provinces.
Dr. Cosalan said that the historic heart surgery is a collaborative effort of Notre Dame, Philippine Heart Center, Cebu Heart Institute, St. Luke’s Hospital, and the Philippine General hospital.
Doctors Joseph Bautista, a Baguio boy who obtained his medical doctor degree in the city; and Roche Hojilla, a Saint Louis Boys High graduate who obtained his medical degree from Iloilo Doctors College of Medicine, in an interview said that heart surgery is a highly specialized procedure requiring personnel and equipment which are specialized as well.
Notre would become the heart center of the north, which is advantageous to the relatives of heart patients because it is not only accessible but also cheaper compared to bringing the patients outside the city which is also risky.
The patient who was operated on is doing good and is expected to be discharged by Saturday. “It is the 6th post operation day of the patient and it normally only requires seven days of confinement,” Cosalan said.
The cathlab of Notre Dame is expected to be fully operational by February to cater to the patients.
The historical heart surgery was conducted by surgeons Dr. Bautista, Dr. Hojilla, and Dr. Florimond Garcia. Garcia is a Baguio born and was among the pioneer surgeons of the Philippine Heart Center. He used to reside in Balatoc and served as a resident physician of the Baguio General Hospital.
Dr. Agnes Valentino, Dr. Rex Villagracia, and Dr. Rowella Bacwaden were the anesthesiologists during the surgery. Dr. Alina Hojilla and Dr. Teresita Pang were the cardiologists and Dr. Ray Suanding of St. Luke Hospital was the pulmonologist.
Nurses Rodel Vintero and Reyneth Alsiyao of Cebu Heart Institute were the perfusionists during the operation.