Cardiac facilities and services

At the forefront of cardiac care in South Africa

Netcare hospitals are at the forefront of cardiac care in South Africa, thanks to a longstanding and well established partnership with world class specialists. Netcare continues to invest in our cardiac facilities, the latest available technology and a comprehensive range of capabilities which enables specialists in the various cardiac disciplines to provide their patients with cutting-edge, life-saving treatments – many of which are ‘firsts’ in South Africa and Africa.
Our focus is on achieving best patient outcomes. Netcare’s comprehensive quality programmes, which are aligned to evidence-based international best practice, underpin the treatment provided by medical specialists and the specialised nursing care provided to cardiac patients.

Photo (above) courtesy Die Burger

Leading the way with firsts in cardiac care

Netcare continues to advance its offering in cardiac medicine in South Africa. Specialists practising in our hospitals have consistently achieved an enviable record in the field of cardiac medicine to the benefit of South African patients and those beyond our borders. These remarkable accomplishments include, but are by far not limited to, the following:

Artificial heart implantation

In 2001, an artificial heart, the Berlin heart, was implanted into a patient for the first time in South Africa. The procedure was performed at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, and was performed on a patient with heart failure, who was awaiting a heart transplant. This brought new hope to patients awaiting heart transplants as the artificial heart helps to keep them alive while waiting for a transplant.

Arrhythmia treatment with robotic catheter system 

In 2009, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital became the first facility in the southern hemisphere where the cutting edge technology offered by the Sensei robotic catheter system was used for the treatment of heart rhythm disorders or arrhythmias. A cardiologist practising at the hospital was one of the first medical specialists in the world to perform the complex procedure using this highly sophisticated system.

In January 2016, this same cardiologist and his surgical team completed their 1 000th successful life-saving heart procedure with the aid of this robotic catheter system – among the highest number of procedures of this kind ever to be performed by a single surgical team in the world.

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Cryoblation procedure

In 2010, the first cryoblation procedure in South Africa, used to treat atrial fibrillation, was performed at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that affects the upper chambers of the heart, and can be severely disabling and even life-threatening to those who suffer from it. Cryoblation is also offered at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital.

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Remote-guided ablation procedure

In 2013, a 22-week pregnant woman suffering from a dangerous arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia (VT) endangering her life and the life of her unborn baby, underwent the first remote-guided ablation procedure in South Africa. This was carried out without using x-rays, in order to cauterise blocked or damaged electrical pathways that cause ‘short circuits’ in the heart nerves. The procedure was performed at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital.

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Comprehensive private electrophysiology laboratory

In 2014, the first comprehensive private electrophysiology laboratory in the Eastern Cape was established at Netcare Greenacres Hospital in Port Elizabeth. The hospital was also the first private facility in the Eastern Cape to offer paediatric cardiology services.

Structural heart centre

In 2014, Africa’s first structural heart centre, specialising in the percutaneous repair of leaking heart valves and various other cardiac anatomical abnormalities by means of minimally invasive surgery, was established at Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton, Johannesburg.

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Comprehensive arrthythmia

Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg is a leader in the treatment of heart rhythm disturbances, offering a comprehensive arrhythmia service. Its sophisticated electrophysiology (EP) laboratory was the first facility in Africa and the second in the southern hemisphere to offer stereotaxis for remote magnetic navigation within the heart, and incorporates technology such as a CARTO mapping system and a Siemens imaging system. Stereotaxis is a computerised, magnetically controlled navigation system that guides devices used in minimally invasive cardiac arrhythmia surgery. It creates a magnetic field that interacts with a tiny magnet in the tip of a catheter. It allows finer navigation within the heart which enables cardiologists to perform more complex procedures. 

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Intervention (TAVI),

The replacement of diseased heart valves with artificial ones by means of open heart surgery is common practice at a number of facilities in South Africa. A breakthrough remote cardiac procedure involving the use of catheters to implant a device known as the Transcatheter Heart Valve to replace a diseased heart valve, is offered by cardiac specialists at Netcare Milpark and Netcare Sunninghill hospitals in Johannesburg.

The procedure, known as the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Intervention (TAVI), is far less invasive than conventional open-heart surgery and makes it possible to repair the heart valves without having to use traumatic open heart surgery. Patients who are seriously ill are therefore much more likely to survive the procedure and tend to recover quicker. 

Cardiac ablation

In June 2015, a two-month-old baby became the youngest patient to undergo a cardiac ablation procedure at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital.

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HeartWare Ventricular Assist System (HVAD)

Specialists at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital have recently started using another lifesaving device, the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System (HVAD), to restore a patient’s blood flow while they wait for a transplant. This device assists the left ventricle of the heart to pump properly, while the Berlin heart is used for patients whose right ventricle is not functioning properly. HVAD can enable patients to wait for a new heart without further deterioration in their health. The device helps patients regain their strength and has the potential to improve the outcome of the transplant when it can finally take place.

First African patient outside of SA receives lifesaving mechanical heart READ MORE

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Paediatric heart transplants

Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial and Netcare Sunninghill hospitals are the only private hospitals offering paediatric heart transplants.

Heart transplants on adult patients

Heart transplants on adult patients are undertaken at Netcare Milpark, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial and UCT Private Academic hospitals.

Netcare’s dedicated cardiac centres

Eastern Cape
Netcare Greenacres Hospital
  • Facilities:    Catheterisation laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory, cardiac theatre, coronary care unit (CCU), cardiothoracic unit (CTU), cardiac ward for both adult and paediatric patients
  • Services:   Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, electrophysiology, paediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery
Free State
Universitas Private Hospital
  • Facilities:   Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre
  • Services:   Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, non-invasive procedures including TAVI procedures and valvectomies, paediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, TAVI procedures 
Pelonomi Private Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, paediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, non-invasive procedures such as TAVI procedures and valvectomies
Gauteng
Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory,  dedicated adult cardiac theatre, adult  ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive  interventional cardiac procedures,  cardiothoracic surgery,  valve open heart surgery and minimally invasive valve surgery
Netcare Linksfield Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, dedicated adult ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures
Netcare Milpark Hospital
  • Facilities: 24-hour catheterisation laboratories, electrophysiology laboratory, hybrid theatre, dedicated cardiac care unit (CCU), surgical ICU and medical ICU (cardiac monitoring), cardiac clinic in emergency department, with cardioversion procedure room.
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, electrophysiology
    cardiothoracic surgery, heart transplantations, pacemaker clinic, ECMO centre. Cardiologist on call 24 hours, chest pain protocol in the emergency department, door-to-catheterisation laboratory time of under 28 minutes
Netcare Montana Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, cardiac theatre, ICU, high care ward
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, paediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, open heart surgery
Netcare Olivedale Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, cardiac theatre, dedicated ICU (CTICU) and high care unit 
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, cardiothoracic surgery, open heart surgery and minimally invasive valve surgery
Netcare Sunninghill Hospital
  • Facilities: Biplane catheterisation laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory, hybrid theatre, dedicated adult cardiac theatres, dedicated paediatric cardiac theatres, 14-bed general ICU, 23-bed cardiac/critical ICU, 10-bed cardiac high care unit, cardiothoracic ICU, dedicated 23-bed paediatric cardiac ICU and paediatric high care unit with paediatric intensivist, Maboneng Heart Institute
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, paediatric cardiology, electrophysiology, stereotaxis TAVI procedures, cryoblation procedures, cardiothoracic surgery, paediatric heart transplantation
Netcare Sunward Park Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre, heart lung machine, ICU, high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, cardiothoracic surgery, resident cardiologist 24-hour service
Netcare Union Hospital
  • Facilities: Hybrid catheterisation laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory, dedicated cardiac theatre, dedicated cardiac ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, percutaneous aortic valve replacement, closure of congenital or traumatic heart defects, balloon dilatation of stenotic (diseased) valves and closure of atrial appendage (a small sac in the muscle wall of the left atrium of the heart) for stroke prevention, cardiothoracic surgery, open heart surgery and minimally invasive valve surgery
Netcare Unitas Hospital
  • Facilities: Biplane catheterisation laboratories, vascular hybrid theatre dedicated cardiac theatre, dedicated cardiothoracic theatres for adult and paediatric cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology ICU with 20 dedicated adult cardiology beds, 9-bed paediatric ICU, 20-bed neonatal ICU, recognised vascular training facility for surgeons in training
  • Services Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures including TAVI procedures, paediatric interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, advanced vascular surgery procedures
Netcare Waterfall City Hospital
  • Facilities: Adult and paediatric ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures for both adult and paediatric patients, adult cardiothoracic surgery, diagnostic cardiology services for both adults and paediatrics, limited paediatric cardiothoracic surgical procedures such as repair of PDA, lung biopsies, thoracotomy for pleural effusion/abscess and bronchoscopes
KwaZulu-Natal
Netcare St Anne's Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory,  dedicated cardiac theatre serving both adult and paediatric patients,  general ICU, high care unit serving adult and paediatric patients
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, electrophysiology including rotoblation, cardiothoracic surgery, open heart surgery and minimally invasive valve surgery
Netcare St Augustine's Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre, cardiac ICU, neonatal ICU
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, paediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery
Netcare Umhlanga Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, dedicated cardiac theatre, ICU and high care unit 
  • Services: Diagnostic cardiology services, minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, valve open heart surgery, cardiothoracic surgery
Limpopo Province
Netcare Pholoso Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, cardiac theatre, ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, cardiothoracic surgery
North West Province
Netcare Ferncrest Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre, dedicated adult theatre, dedicated adult ICU and high care unit and cardiothoracic theatre
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, cardiothoracic surgery, minimally invasive interventional valve replacement procedures and open heart surgery
Western Cape
Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, hybrid theatre, ICU and high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, cardiothoracic surgery, pulmonary hypertension treatment
Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory including Hansen robotic system, Dedicated adult and paediatric cardiac theatres; surgical, cardiac, paediatric and neonatal ICUs
  • Services: Adult and paediatric heart transplantation including mechanical assist devices i.e. Berlin heart and HVAD, paediatric cardiac programme, valve surgery, both open and minimally invasive surgery
Netcare Kuils River Hospital
  • Facilities: Vascular  theatre, 15 bed ICU, high care unit, cardiac ward
  • Services: Paediatric, adolescent and adult cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, open heart surgery
Netcare N1 City Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory,  dedicated adult cardiac theatre
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, minimally invasive valve surgery endovascular procedures, CRT (cardiac resynchronization therapy), ICD (implantable cardiac defibrillator) therapy, CTO and rotablation, ICD and cardiothoracic surgery
UCT Private Academic Hospital
  • Facilities: Catheterisation laboratory, electrophysiology laboratory, ICU, high care unit
  • Services: Minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedures, electrophysiology, TAVI procedures, minimally invasive interventional valve replacement procedures, heart transplants