As people around the world live longer, the need for comprehensive and innovative cardiac care is ever increasing. According to Artirat Charukitpipat, CEO of Bumrungrad International Hospital, “the World Health Organization estimates heart conditions take about 18 million lives each year. The data reveals this trend is likely to continue and become more complex in the near future due to the elderly’s risk of facing heart health conditions.”
“Bumrungrad International Hospital recognizes the importance of improving the level of care and prevention which includes promoting healthy lifestyles, as well as screening and early detection programs for risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol in response to the increasing number of heart disease cases and their associated complications”, as Artirat further revealed.
As Bumrungrad CEO explains, “Bumrungrad Heart Institute is one of our Centers of Excellence. Our professional team provides care for even the most complex heart conditions. Achieving success in such cases requires a good cooperation with the full support of a multidisciplinary team. They work with the same goal in mind. That goal is to keep patient safe and enhance patient quality of life.”
The Bumrungrad Heart Institute is the result of the ambitious vision of the executive board of the hospital and Professor Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee, Cardiologist and Director of the Bumrungrad Heart Institute. As Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee explains, “Bumrungrad Heart Institute aims for the most comprehensive treatment and best outcomes for patients with all kinds of heart diseases.”
“We aim to be a state-of-the-art medical facility in all areas of cardiology, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, advanced heart failure and heart transplantation, structural heart disease, cardiogenetics, congenital heart disease, cardiac screening, and preventive care. We are also equipped with a cardiac care unit, which provides 24-hour care for cardiac patients requiring acute care or post operative recovery to enable them to return to the best of their ability as soon as possible.”, Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee elaborated.
As a Center of Excellence, the Bumrungrad Heart Institute already leverages the world-class knowledge and technological resources of the hospital, providing an excellent foundation for providing high-quality patient outcomes immediately. Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee confirmed this by commenting that, “Bumrungrad actually had everything to take the best care of the patients. The executive board is very visionary and wanted to do research. It is the only way to keep getting better because by doing research, we keep learning, improving and finding a better way to treat our patients, and we are never complacent on our past success.”
Given such a successful foundation, both the Bumrungrad board and Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee clearly identify research, technology, and innovation as the key drivers to the Bumrungrad Heart Institute’s future growth and development. As Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee illustrates, “Moreover, Bumrungrad constantly invests extensively in technology and equipment, including some that don’t necessarily yield a return. So, with the team of experts we have, the Bumrungrad Heart Institute can be a truly world-class center of excellence. Some examples of previous research include Brugada syndrome in Thailand: Three decades of progress, Epicardial substrate ablation for Brugada syndrome, and Benefits and risks of catheter ablation in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation.”
It is also important to note that Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee brings with him a wealth of research and experience, as he is one of the world’s first investigators to uncover the true cause of sudden unexplained death or dying in your sleep. Moreover, Bumrungrad Heart Institute has one of the best arrhythmia centers in the world that not only carries out cutting edge research but also performs complex catheter ablation for difficult arrhythmia cases.
Tertiary referral center for the Asia pacific region
Moreover, the Institute has become a tertiary referral center for the Asia pacific region and keeps expanding to the rest of the world. Patients come to get their arrhythmia care from all over the world, including the US and Europe. The center is also known for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation treatment since it is one of the few places in the world that routinely and sophisticatedly maps and ablates AF substrates with its CFAE ablation in conjunction with CardioInsight non-invasive mapping, a technology that the center adopted early on, back in 2016.
On the topic of the Heart Institute’s research efforts, Prof. Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee is proud to note that, “We publish around ten papers a year in major medical journals and we’re proud of that record. We’re also working on an AI project with Chulalongkorn University and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang to monitor sudden cardiac arrest. Most importantly, we’ve become an international consultant, receiving cross-reviews by international institutions from the USA, Europe, and Japan. Many want to come to see our work and collaborate.”
Dr. Achirawin Jirakamolchaisiri, Cardiologist and Director of Heart Institute Operations and Service Line at Bumrungrad International Hospital, reminds us that, “cardiology is a complex field that encompasses many different sub-specialties. Each subspecialty focuses on a specific area of heart health, and understanding these different areas is crucial for providing optimal patient care, while striving to deliver the best positive patient outcomes in every case.”
Dr. Achirawin Jirakamolchaisiri shared patient outcome data which clearly demonstrate that the Heart Institute’s success in delivering on its goal of providing truly world-class care:
- Coronary Heart Disease: This sub-specialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of blockages in the coronary arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and other serious cardiac events. In 2022, we delivered Coronary angiogram & Percutaneous coronary intervention in a total of 812 cases with a success rate of 99.2% while the U.S. benchmark was at 95%. The composite complication rate is at 0.39% while the U.S. benchmark was at 2.65%. Average length of stay is only 1 day after procedure.
- Cardiac Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology: This sub-specialty deals with the diagnosis and management of abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and other arrhythmias. Last year, we treated 183 cases of Electrophysiology with 100% success rate using Atrial fibrillation ablation with only 4.35% complication rate, whereas the U.S. benchmark was at 6.5%. While Ventricular tachycardia ablation had a 100% success rate with no complications.
- TAVR/TAVI: This sub-specialty involves minimally invasive procedures to replace the aortic valve in patients with aortic stenosis, a condition in which the valve becomes narrowed and obstructs blood flow. Bumrungrad Heart Institute had 26 cases of Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR/TAVI) which is the greatest case volume in Thai private hospitals with a 100% success rate and no complications.
- Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation: This sub-specialty focuses on the care of patients with severe heart failure, including those who may require advanced treatments from multidisciplinary team or heart transplantation. The Bumrungrad Heart Institute is the first and only private hospital in Thailand with heart transplant capability and which received clinical care program certification by JCI. We had a 100% 1 year survival rate after heart transplantation with no complications.
- Coronary Bypass Surgery: This sub-specialty involves surgical procedures to bypass blocked or narrowed coronary arteries, restoring blood flow to the heart muscle. Last year, 430 cardiothoracic surgeries were performed with 71 cases being coronary artery bypass graft. There was 0% In-hospital mortality while the U.S. benchmark was at 2.1%. And there was no Post-op-stroke while the benchmark was at 3%.
- Cardiac Rehabilitation: This sub-specialty provides supervised exercise and lifestyle modification programs to help patients recover from heart disease and prevent future cardiac events. With our Cardiac Rehabilitation, 100% (benchmark 90%) of our post op bypass surgery patients reached optimal functional status within 7 days, while 97% (benchmark 90%) of post PCI patients reached optimal function status within 4 days.
- Cardiogenetics: This sub-specialty deals with the genetic basis of cardiovascular disease, including inherited conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and familial hypercholesterolemia. Fortunately, advances in technology and knowledge of genetics have made it possible to check for certain genes and see how vulnerable one is to heart diseases. Gene testing can save the lives of people who have not yet shown symptoms. It can also help those planning to have children. And we had 360 screenings last year.