A lifetime of commitment caring for Australian’s hearts

31 May 2019

The acute nature of cardiology and the constantly evolving technology is what Prof MacIsaac finds particularly appealing.

“There are always so many incredible technological advancements in cardiology. The introduction of stenting was a ‘game changer’. And putting in heart valves without surgery is a very exciting, relatively new development.”

“Both of these techniques can be performed as minimally invasive procedures in the Cath Lab, which is the operating space where we diagnose and carry out these life-saving procedures. Within just a few days, patients can return home to live normal lives,” Prof MacIsaac said.

Frances Cashman, 53, owes her life to these advancements. Frances was rushed to St Vincent’s after suffering a massive heart attack. The team inserted two stents into her artery, saving her life. Just a few days later she was able to go home with little more than a bruise on her wrist.

“The team at St Vincent’s were amazing. My family and I cannot thank them enough for saving my life,” Frances said.

St Vincent’s Hospital has a history of leading the way in cardiological advancements. Former Director of St Vincent’s Cardiac Investigation Unit, Professor Ian MacDonald was a world pioneer in ultrasound diagnosis of heart conditions. Prof McDonald’s work has enabled cardiac partitioners throughout the world to gain a better understanding of heart conditions.

Prof MacIsaac comes from a long line of medical practitioners at St Vincent’s Hospital. His family’s connection with St Vincent’s began in the 1950’s when his father, a gynaecologist, met his mother who was a student nurse. Prof MacIsaac then met his wife when he was a junior doctor at St Vincent’s. His brother, an endocrinologist, also works alongside him, as does his  medical registrar son.

Prof MacIsaac cannot stress enough the importance for both men and women over 45 to get a heart-health check with their doctor and to act immediately if they experience chest pain.

Don’t take chest pain or breathlessness – or other unexplained symptoms lightly. Get help immediately because it could save your life,” Prof MacIsaac said.

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