Heart & Lung Unit

Saint James Hospital Sliema runs the only private Catheterization Suite available on the island. Here, specialised tests, corrective interventions and cardiac rehabilitation programmes are offered. Other diagnostic and interventional tests are performed, such as :

• Open-heart Surgery
• Cardiac Angiography (adults and children)
• Coronary Angioplasty
• Atrial Septal Defect Closure (percutaneous)
• P.D.A. Closure
• Electrophysiological Studies
• Pacemaker Implants (single and dual chamber)
• Implantible Cardioventer defibulator implantation
• Peripheral limb Angiography
• Peripheral Angioplasty
• Carotid Angiography
• Renal Angiography
• Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme
• Stress ECG Testing
• Cardiac Event Monitoring
• 24hr Blood Pressure Monitoring

The Heart Unit is located on the 5th floor of the Sliema Hospital. Consultations and outpatient tests are also carried out in the Ground Floor consulting rooms. a full range of blood investigations can be tested in the fully fledged Medical Laboratory also housed within the hospital. The top 3 cardiologists hold regular clinics for consultations, ECGs and Stress ECGs. Additional outpatient tests include a Calcium Scoring Test. Tests can be investigative or preventative if clients fall within the risky criteria parametres. Positive tests can lead to additional investigations that can delve deeper into a problem with a view to treating it before it is too late.

The main criteria for preventative tests are as follows:

  • Age – over 40 years of age
  • Family History of Heart Disease
  • Have High Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
  • Are Overweight
  • Have a Stressful lifestyle with little or no exercise
  • Are a Smoker

If a Stress ECG gives positive results a more detailed non-invasive investigation that can be undertaken is a CT Angio that will, in its turn give more detailed results.

Invasive procedures carried out include:

Coronary Angiogram – Done under local anaesthetic this is is classified as a day case procedure that lasts between 25 to 35 minutes with a further 1-3 hours rest at the Hospital. The length of additional rest time required thereafter depends on a number of considerations and will be decided upon by the treating doctors. the Angiogram might indicate the neccessity to proceed to an angioplasty.

Coronary Angioplasty – The angioplasty locates where the narrowing of the artery is and treats it through the utilisation of a balloon or stents. Angioplasty patients are kept overnight in the hospital for monitoring.

Caridac Studies can be carried out while the above investigations are being done. These studies record pressure within the chambers of the heart to check cardiac output and whether heart is in failure or not.

Carotid Angiogram - checks for a narrowing of the arteries that go up into the brain.

Elective Cardioversion for patiens suffering from Atrial Fibrillation. this is carried out as a day case under general anaesthetic, generally by a cardiologist, and involves delivering a controlled electrical impulse to the heart to regularise its rhythm.

Septal Defects Studies in children and Invasive Correction of Septal Defects under image intensifier.

A cardiac rehabilitation programme is also provided by this unit. Patient-triggered event recorders and other cardiac monitoring services are available. A Holter Monitor is a 24-hour test wherein the patient is provided with a Holter Monitor by an ECG technician. Normal daily routine is maintained and every time a flutter/event is felt an event marker must be pressed. After 24-hours the patient will be required to return to the Hospital to have the monitor removed and a full report will then be received.

The Heart & Lung Unit is open to all patients who would like to undergo bedside monitoring or telemetry in the events of Heart Attacks, Anginas and Pulpitations. Saint James Hospital Group also offers an Ambulance and an Emergency service that is open all week 24 hours a day.




Sleep Apnoea Studies

Snoring can be very annoying, but it can also be a sign of a more serious problem – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). OSA is defined as the cessation of airflow during sleep as the airway passage becomes narrower, and air turbulence produces the sound many are familiar with. The Saint James Hospital Snoring Clinic uses an exciting new device – the ‘SleepStrip’, a moustache-like device worn before the individual goes to sleep with a little built-in computer embedded to monitor the breathing patterns during sleep. Depending on the result indicated on the device, the patient will then be referred for the necessary treatment.
One of the treatments in the case of a positive result involves an overnight sleep study during which sleep is monitored to record the level to which oxygen levels go down during the time a patient should be resting. Sleep apnoea can be treated through the nightly use of CPAP masks.