The Hospiten Rambla Cardiac Surgery Unit, led by Dr. Rafael Llorens, has surpassed 8,000 interventions since it opened in 1996, contributing to raising survival rates and improving patients’ quality of life in the Canary Islands, where cardiovascular disease continue to be the main cause of death, ahead of cancer.
Dr. Llorens explains that the Cardiac Surgery Unit started out with coronary bypass surgery on a patient from Puerto de la Cruz within a social context never seen before and when surgical care in the specialty was very limited in the Islands.
“We have reached 8,000 interventions in what is considered an excellent service, thanks to the professionalism, material and human resources at our disposition, particularly the medical team of 15 experienced, highly-qualified physicians”.
An international reference in innovation
Throughout the active life of the unit there have been great milestones marking a before and after in cardiovascular surgery. Among these is the technique known as ‘frozen elephant trunk’ (FET), in which two complex cardiovascular interventions are carried out in one by means of aortic dissection, substantially lowering the risks of surgery, reducing mortality and shortening patent recovery time.
Hospiten Rambla has also applied the off-pump surgical technique in more than 3,000 interventions using only mammary artery grafts, which helps to reduce the risks of surgery and patient recovery time, whilst giving better long-term results. By using mammary artery grafts, future blockages are more easily prevented than when using vein grafts.
The Hospiten Cardiac Surgery Unit has also pioneered both surgical and hybrid techniques used to treat aortic aneurysms where there is a specialized medical team in the endovascular, minimally invasive, treatment of the condition; the implanting of stentless aortic prostheses, i.e. without the use of extendible mesh as was used in the past; or the application of innovative techniques like sutureless heart valves in patients with aortic stenosis, reducing time in the operating room, means faster recovery and extends life expectancy and quality of life, above all in patients over 80, for whom the traditions method was rather aggressive.
Likewise, in reparation of the aortic valve in patients with insufficiency and aortic aneurysms, replacing the aorta and correcting the insufficiency acting on the coronary veils and the aortic ring, without implanting a prosthetic valve.
In this sense, Dr. Rafael Llorens, as head of the service, states that “the clear commitment of the Hospiten Group to this specialty has allowed us to research, innovate and apply new methods with the main aim of improving the health and quality of life of patients with cardiovascular problems and to contribute to the consolidation of our position as a reference in the provision of medical-hospital services, in this case at the Cardiac Surgery Unit, of the highest standards”.