ADVANCED minimally invasive catheter-based percutaneous coronary interventional (PCI) procedures have been brought to Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg in an initiative that seeks to upskill local specialists. A leading Gauteng-based cardiologist, Dr Chris Zambakides, acted as a proctor to oversee and assist local cardiovascular specialists to successfully perform two of these new highly intricate procedures at the catheterisation laboratory at the cardiovascular centre at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital recently. Dr Kyi Shein, a cardiologist at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital, who assisted in facilitating the initiative, said the procedures were conducted as part of a training event for local cardiac specialists from both the state and public sectors in these highly advanced techniques. These catheter-based procedures are undertaken through the tiny puncture in the skin and eliminate the need for major surgical incisions. According to Shein, the two procedures included a rotational endarterectomy (rotablation), in which a tiny drill, powered by compressed air and special fluid to clear the calcified deposits, were used, and a percutaneous coronary intervention to chronic total occlusion to re-canalise a chronically blocked portion of an artery. Netcare St Anne’s Hospital’s general manager, Louis Joubert, said the facility, which made available its state-of-the-art catheterisation laboratory for the training event, is proud to have been afforded the opportunity to participate in an initiative to transfer knowledge and skills to local specialists. - Supplied.