Peninsula Heart centre – our story
Dr Greg Szto was instrumental in the development of an advanced, comprehensive cardiac service on the Mornington Peninsula. Indeed, most of the cardiology services that we know today in the region have been driven by Greg in his pursuit to provide high quality and total cardiovascular care on our doorstep.
Dr Szto undertook advanced coronary training in the United States and returned to Melbourne in 2000 as a consultant cardiologist at Frankston Hospital where he initiated the coronary angioplasty and stent program. At the time Mornington Peninsula and the surrounding regions were solely reliant on metropolitan Melbourne cardiology services. As a result of successful patient outcomes, Dr Szto’s innovation and leadership were highly sought after and in late 2002 he was appointed Director of Cardiology at Peninsula Private Hospital.
The provision of cardiology services in the region grew under his leadership. This attracted a number of cardiologists to the area, many of whom received training under Greg at Frankston Hospital or at Peninsula Heart Centre. In 2003 Peninsula Private Hospital opened a cardiac cath lab and an 8-bed coronary care unit allowing patients to receive hospital and coronary stent treatment locally.
Following an international cardiology meeting, Greg recognised the trend towards non-invasive cardiac diagnostic investigations. On completion of CT angiogram training at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and in collaboration with local radiologists, a 64-slice heart CT scan was established in 2007. Ongoing success of this modality resulted in the installation of a 320-slice CT scanner offering early detection of heart disease.
Peninsula Private Hospital is now home to a state-of-the-art cardiac centre comprising 2 cardiac cath labs, a hybrid lab and 54 coronary care beds. Success in invasive treatments in the cath lab led to the introduction of cardiac surgery and establishment of a 7-bed Intensive Care Unit in 2012, which has now grown to 11 beds. Having cardiac surgical support enabled Greg to introduce Watchman left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) procedure. His success with this procedure has resulted in him being the second highest LAAO operator in Australia and he is also a proctor for like-minded cardiologists who wish to develop these skills.
Recognising the needs of the elderly population, Greg worked towards offering less invasive key-hole treatments to his patients. In 2015 after extensive training and credentialing he led the team in the first transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedure (TAVI) at Peninsula Private Hospital. This program has been a collaborative effort with a dedicated team involving interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac anaesthetists and cath lab staff with the support of Peninsula Private Hospital. This is the beginning of a new era in the treatment of cardiac conditions.
Peninsula Heart Centre continues to provide a high-quality service to patients. Its growth has enabled us to build a team of experienced cardiologists who offer a range of cardiac specialties including non-invasive, diagnostic and interventional cardiology, pacing and interventional heart failure, imaging, structural and lipid management.