Welcome to Peninsula Heart Centre!
Dr. Szto (pronounced See-Toe) consults at Frankston, Mornington and Rosebud. The main office in Frankston (at Peninsula Private Hospital) has full investigation facilities like treadmill stress test, echo, stress echo, and other mobile tests like Holter (ECG) and blood pressure (BP) monitor. All patients referred here are triaged so their tests and consultations are able to be undertaken as soon as feasible. Feel free to browse through the website, and learn as much as you can about the services that we offer, and the procedures that are performed to treat your heart condition. Learn about the various tests that are available to assist you in understanding your heart condition. This website has automatic news updates concerning advances in cardiovascular medicine, and you are encourage to come back often to determine if there has been new developments in the treatment of your heart condition. Note new email address: www.peninsulaheart.com.au and our main office telephone number is (03) 9789 0088. Fax (03) 9789 8866
Close the hole…
18 Nov 2017. The era of Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure has arrived at Peninsula Private Hospital. This keyhole technique via the groin, is a simple solution to treat patients with cryptogenic stroke (stroke of unexplained cause) and have a persistent PFO. The PFO is a persistent hole between the top two chambers of the heart (atria). It normally closes at birth, but can be persistently patent in up to 20-25% of the population. Recent studies have shown that closure of this PFO in patients with cryptogenic stroke significantly reduce their chances of having another stroke. This procedure may also help in cases of severe migraine with PFO. Divers may also need to have their PFO closed to avoid bend-related stroke.
A little thing has arrived at Peninsula Private Hospital
Since May 2017, Dr. Szto has introduced the procedure of Medtronic Micra leadless pacemaker insertion in 8 patients at Peninsula Private Hospital. This is a small bullet-sized pacemaker which is inserted via the groin vein, with intravenous sedation and local anaesthetic. The procedure takes about ½ hour and the patient is discharged the next day after satisfactory pacemaker check.
Emergency Department at Peninsula Private Hospital
On Monday 22 August 2016, the new Emergency Department will open at Peninsula Private Hospital – Tel 9788 0888. Patients can be directly admitted to the hospital from there. If you would like Dr. Szto or van den Brink to look after you (even if you haven’t been treated by us before), just let the attending doctor or nurse know.
First implantable chronic chest pain stimulator inserted in Victoria
On Tuesday 2 August 2016, Dr. Szto implanted a chronic chest pain neurostimulator into a patient at Peninsula Private Hospital. Sylvia is the first patient to have this neurostimulator implanted in Victoria, only the fifth in Australia. The procedure was performed under a 1-hour general anaesthetic, and the patient was discharged the next day. This chest pain neurostimulator assists patients who have chronic chest pains who have not been helped by other therapies. For further enquiries, please call our office on 03 9789 0088.
New cardiologist Dr. Olivier van den Brink joins the team! (October 2014)
Dr. van den Brink (“Ollie”) joins Peninsula Heart Centre as our new cardiologist. Originally from the Netherlands, Ollie completed his residency and advanced cardiology training at the Alfred Hospital, after completing a PhD at the Baker Medical Research Institute.
In the last 2 years, Dr. van den Brink honed his skills further in heart failure management, pacemakers and defibrillator implants, and imaging using Tranthoracic and Transoesophageal Echo, Stress Echo, as well as Multi-slice cardiac CT scan in Leiden (Netherlands).
Appointments to see Dr. van den Brink can be made via the main office telephone number 9789 0088.
Left Atrial Appendage Closure to prevent stroke in atrial fibrillation
Patients with atrial fibrillation but who are not able to take blood thinners such as warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban or apixaban now have an alternative – have a keyhole procedure to plug the left atrial appendage (LAA). The LAA is the source of clots in close to 90% of people developing a stroke due to atrial fibrillation. Dr. Szto can advise you in choosing this option. The procedure is done under general anaesthetic at Peninsula Private Hospital and typically requires an overnight stay. An alternative to this keyhole procedure is to have the left atrial appendage ligated during any open heart surgery. Dr. Szto strongly encourages his cardiac surgeon to ligate his patients’ left atrial appendage during their open heart surgery. As of 1 Nov 2017, left atrial appendage closure is covered by Medicare in Australian private hospitals.
Introduction of TAVI – transcatheter aortic valve implantation
Nov 2017 – Dr. Szto is leading the introduction of keyhole aortic valve surgery at Peninsula Private Hospital. Since Nov 2015, we have inserted these keyhole valves in 26 patients successfully. Patients who may be suitable should contact their GP and be referred for evaluation and consideration. This minimally invasive surgery will expand the number of people who can be treated but who may otherwise be considered too high risk for open heart surgery.
Occasionally, even this procedure is too risky in some frail patients, another alternative may be to consider balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV), in which case the narrowed, scarred aortic valve is stretched with a balloon only. The result may buy time and enable some patients to recover enough to be considered for definitive keyhole valve surgery.
Direct referral for tests:
You can ask you local doctor to refer you directly to our practice for tests such as treadmill stress test, echocardiogram, Holter (24-hour ECG) monitor, BP monitor, or multislice cardiac CT scan. Most of these tests are bulk-billed, including stress test, echocardiogram, and Holter monitor. A BP monitor test attracts a small fee. Most tests can be performed within a few days of ordering. Results are promptly sent to your doctor, often electronically within a day or two of your test. Unlike other health check clinics, your out-of-pocket costs are minimal.
Direct admission to Peninsula Private Hospital Coronary Care Unit:
If you have private health insurance, call 03 9788 3490 or 9788 3491 to arrange direct admission to Peninsula Private Hospital Coronary Care Unit (PPH CCU) if you have chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations or other potential cardiac problems. Nominate a cardiologist of your choice to look after you. You can even nominate Dr. Szto to look after you even if you have not seen him before. It is that easy. Admission is contingent on the availability of a bed and a resident medical officer after hours. Typically the nurse in charge will inform you if admission is feasible, and you are asked to contact the ambulance for transport, or be driven into hospital. It is easier if you had seen your own GP beforehand, who can arrange direct admission to PPH CCU. After hours, you may be directed to the newly opened Emergency Department – where you may incur extra costs associated with the evaluation in ED.
Preventative Cardiology using Multi-slice Cardiac CT Scanning
Medicare reimbursement is available under certain conditions – click here for details)
Embrace the new technology in Multi-slice Cardiac CT scanning or CT coronary angiogram – look at your heart and arteries and check whether you have coronary artery disease even before you have any symptoms. Obtain treatment and evasive action before you develop into a heart attack victim waiting to happen. CT scanning is performed in collaboration with MIA Radiology at Peninsula Private Hospital, tests are reported promptly and you will receive a personal copy of your heart scan results, typically within 1-2 weeks.
Many cardiologists can perform coronary angiograms to diagnose your coronary artery blockages, but only a few can actually proceed on to fix them by inserting stents. These cardiologists have additional qualification in coronary stenting. If not, you may need to undergo a second procedure to correct your blockage. Make sure the cardiologist doing your angiogram is an interventional cardiologist. Dr. Szto is an interventional cardiologist, and often proceeds directly to coronary stenting or other intervention as required, saving you another trip to the lab, and another groin or wrist puncture.
Our practice participates in clinical research – this is where new and experimental drugs or therapies are explored and tested, usually in internationally coordinated, double-blind placebo controlled clinical studies. These studies are rigorously monitored and proper checks and balances are in place to protect the welfare of the patient. To learn more about studies that might benefit you, click on our clinical research section.