On September 13, 2019, The University of Lahore Teaching Hospital (ULTH)’s Department of Cardiology launched a heart diagnostic process through food pipe that goes from the mouth to the stomach – technically known as trans-esophageal echo (TEE). As a diagnostic tool, TEE helps doctors to detect problems with the structure and function of the heart and its blood vessels without the ribs or lungs getting in the way.
According to Dr Shoaib Sarwar Hashmi (Assistant Professor, Cardiology, MBBS, MRCP, Glasgow & London), this type of echo uses a long, thin, tube (endoscope) to guide the ultrasound transducer down the esophagus. “With this test, we get uninterrupted study of the heart without breathing distraction commonly associated with regular echo. TEE allows an appropriate excess to more details about the upper chambers of the heart and to measure and see the exact dynamics and anatomy of valvular heart disease,” he added.
This complex scan of the heart was officially inaugurated by Mr Awais Raoof (the UOL’s Chairman BOG) along with Dr Zahid Pervaiz (ULTH Medical Superintendent), Dr Sikander Afzal (Associate Dean, Administration and Clinical Director, ULTH), and Mr Farhan Ahmad (CEO, Pakistan Children’s Heart Foundation). On the day of inauguration, a TEE scan was successfully done on the middle aged male patient of valvular heart disease. Additionally, a dobutamine stress echocardiogram (an ultrasounds scan of the heart performed whilst the heart is being exercised) was also conducted with positive results.
Commenting on this milestone, Dr Hashmi, a renowned Cardiologist Consultant said: “This is a big achievement and we hope to introduce invasive coronary scans in the near future that are effective in spotting clogged arteries”. He said TEE is available within no queue and at the lowest charges in Lahore. “In our community service gesture, we offer this service to the non-affording patients under the Zakat category without waiting for longer hours,” Dr Hashmi added.
Apart from TEE and Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram, the ULTH Cardiology Department offers other services and facilities like Coronary Care Unit (CCU) equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment, Cardiac CT scan, Cardiac OPD, and heart failure and chest pain clinics.
In his call to the public, Dr Hashmi advised the public to care about their health by regularly taking purposive walks, controlling wait and avoiding smoking. “Smoking is one of the main causes of heart diseases. It is my public service obligation to sensitize the youth especially, to shun this hazardous practice,” he advised. “I also recommend to everyone to have regular checkups on the heart rate, blood sugar, lipid profile and blood pressure in order to rule out any health risks,” he added.
World Heart Day marked
The Cardiology department also joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Heart Day on September 29, 2019. The main aim of this internationally earmarked day is to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.
At ULTH, a sensitization lecture on the people who are at the risk of heart attack, risk stratification, treatment and how to reverse the risks was delivered by Dr Shoaib S. Hashmi. He elaborated the heart as a vital organ and the burden of heart diseases in the world. Prior to this lecture, a questionnaire was circulated to the audience for self-examination about heart disease risks. The presentation was therefore based on the first-hand information gathered from the audience. After the question-answer, a cake cutting ceremony was arranged to mark the closure of the event.