On the scene at LHSC

Winter 2014

Patient receives heart transplant following at-home wait thanks to new device

After suffering a heart attack, Kitchener native and mother-of-two Suzana De Sousa was diagnosed with congestive heart failure by LHSC’s Dr. Peter Pflugfelder, Cardiologist. Normally, this diagnosis would have meant remaining in hospital hooked up to intravenous pumps while awaiting a heart transplant.

Instead, De Sousa became the second patient at LHSC to receive the HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) developed by Thoratec Corporation. This internally implantable device provided circulatory support and allowed her to leave hospital while continuing to wait for a donor heart.

Dr. Bob Kiaii, Cardiac Surgeon, and the cardiac team at LHSC successfully performed De Sousa’s heart transplant at LHSC’s University Hospital on Oct. 23, 2013. “Her pre-operative condition was optimized,” he says. “She will only get stronger as she continues her rehabilitation and recovery following the transplant.”

Making an impact on high-risk behaviour of teens

For more than 20 years, the Impact program – offered through LHSC’s Trauma Program – has aimed to heighten teen awareness of the potential consequences of high-risk behaviours.

This past December, the program, which is supported by donors to Children’s Health Foundation (CHF), expanded to incorporate driving issues teenagers face such as distraction and fatigue, and behavioural issues such as binge drinking and peer pressure.

In partnership with the Josh Field Network and CHF, the team created a video to be shown during Impact presentations that would provide a personal and relevant experience. The video – “Distracted Driving – Josh’s Story” – focuses on the impact that one moment of distraction still has on Josh’s family, his friends and community, four years after Josh was tragically killed in a motor vehicle collision.

LHSC hosts SoHo Community Open House

LHSC was pleased to welcome neighbours of the SoHo community (“south of Horton”) to an open house where they learned more about the demolition plans for the old South Street Hospital (SSH) and adjacent buildings.
Common questions included how the buildings would actually be taken down, what the timelines for demolition are, and what the City of London has planned for the future of the lands.
Visit the South Street Hospital Decommissioning website where updated information is posted about the demolition, including a contact line the community can call with questions, comments and concerns.

Canadian first robotic single-site gallbladder removal promises evolution in surgical options for patients

A da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal, was performed for the first time in Canada at LHSC by Dr. Christopher Schlachta, Medical Director, Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR).

Patient Melanie Sabino’s gallbladder was removed through a single small incision, hidden in the belly button, resulting in a return to her everyday life in just two days, with virtually scarless results.

“This technology represents an exciting evolution in robotic surgery. In 25 years, we have gone from big incisions, to a series of small incisions for each of the surgeon’s hands, to this development of just one small, hidden incision. This is a whole new world that we plan to apply to even more complex surgeries,” says Dr. Schlachta.

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From left: Dr. Dave Nagpal, Cardiac Surgeon; Suzana De Sousa, patient; and Dr. Bob Kiaii, Cardiac Surgeon, celebrate De Sousa’s heart transplant.
left, Lisa Wolfs, Injury Prevention Specialist, LHSC, Kathryn Field, Meg Field, Nigel Field, Kayla Jefferson, Jane Harrington, Injury Prevention Specialist, LHSC, Tanya Charyk Stewart, Injury Epidemiologist, at the LHSC premier of “Distracted Driving - Josh’s Story.
Residents of the SoHo neighbourhood (south of Horton) in London visited LHSC’s open house for the demolition/decommissioning of the former South Street Hospital building. Photo credit: London Community News
From left: Dr. Dave Nagpal, Cardiac Surgeon; Suzana De Sousa, patient; and Dr. Bob Kiaii, Cardiac Surgeon, celebrate De Sousa’s heart transplant.
Dr. Christopher Schlachta (left) stands with patient Melanie Sabino (right) beside the da Vinci surgical system that was used to perform her gallbladder removal.