cardiac procedures unit
As the only cardiac centre in the region, when you are having a heart attack or you have a life-threatening arrhythmia, this is the place you will go to receive the care you need.
Matthew Manor

Unblocking a heart artery, repairing a hole inside the heart, and restoring a regular heartbeat are just a few of the incredible treatments that happen here every day. 

The unit is where over 4,000 life-changing tests and procedures are performed each year and, along with the rest of the Cardiac program at KHSC, it is the only one of its kind in southeastern Ontario.

Amazingly, most of the people receiving care in the unit go home the same day, thanks to the minimally invasive methods used in its three cardiovascular or catheterization (cath) laboratories (labs). 

They are called cath labs because the procedures involve a catheter – a very thin, flexible tube – that is inserted within an artery in the wrist or groin and used to guide treatments such as a stent to the heart to restore blood flow when an artery has been blocked.

“The team in the cath lab was so prepared and reassuring at every step of the way, and I eventually realized this is what they do all the time and it was my job to just show up and let the pros handle it,” says Kristen Jones, a patient whose angiogram test allowed her care team to see if there were any blockages in her heart’s arteries before surgery.

Without these important catheterization techniques, some procedures to diagnose and treat heart disease would not be possible. They reduce the number of patients who might have otherwise required open heart surgery and operations that use a machine to bypass or do the work of the heart and lungs, resulting in longer hospital stays. Advancements in these procedures allow us to offer treatments to the very elderly and patients not healthy enough to undergo and recover from open heart surgery.

Having the latest technology in the labs helps our care teams work efficiently and with more precision for better patient outcomes. An example of this is the use of advanced imaging technology that allows doctors and technologists to see in 3D the inside of arteries and heart chambers without opening the chest.

Donations from our communities are vital in helping us make sure we have the technology and spaces we need to provide world-class care for people living in southeastern Ontario and those passing through who experience a serious cardiac event in our region.

‘For us to remain a leader, we absolutely rely on our grateful patients and donors, and we very much appreciate their help and support, which allows us to invest in the equipment we need. No donation is too small,” says Dr. Damian Redfearn, an electrophysiology cardiologist and the arrhythmia clinical lead at KHSC.

Through these photos, catch a glimpse of the dedicated staff in action as they deliver exceptional care and work tirelessly in some of the oldest hospital facilities in Canada to meet the growing demand for specialized heart disease treatments.