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Naga commends BMC docs for Bicol first open heart surgery

By Jason B. Neola

The Naga City government commended through a resolution on Monday, March 7, 10 resident doctors of the Bicol Medical Center who were involved in the successful conduct of the first open heart surgery in Bicol region last Feb. 11 this year at the BMC Cardiac Center.

The surgical procedure was done by principal surgeons Dr. Elmo Bombase, Dr. Chris Ocampo, Dr. Kathleen Cruz, and Dr. Joseph Bichara with cardiac anaesthesiologist, Dr. Sarah Angeles; interventional cardiologist Dr. Karl Chavez and Dr. TJ Santy; cardiac intensivist, Dr. Elmo Linao; pulmonologist, Dr. Jean Dy, and Dr. Eloisa Victoria Claveria-Barrion, head of the Cardiac Center.

Aside from the surgeons, commendation was also given to Maritess Savilla, R.N., who supervised the team of nurses assigned at the Cardiac Operating Room, and to perfusionists, radiation, and echo technologists.

The Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) on a 69 year-old female patient, which was regarded as Bicol’s milestone in cardiovascular medicine, was successfully conducted on Feb. 11, 2022.

MILESTONE These are the four of the 10 cardiac surgeons who were commended by the City Government of Naga for the conduct of the first open heart surgery at the Bicol Medical Center. Photo shows, from left to right, Vice Mayor Cecilia V. de Asis, Dr. Eloisa Victoria Claveria-Barrion, Dr. Elmo Bombase Jr., Dr. Karl Chavez, Dr. TJ Santy, and Mayor Nelson S. Legacion. Also in photo (left to right, at the back) are City Councilors Jessie Albeus, DMD; Jose Perez (partly hidden), Elmer Baldemoro (partly hidden), and Vidal Castillo. JBN/RH/CEPPIO

A provision in the resolution said that with the successful operation, Bicolanos will no longer need to seek the same treatment in Metro Manila thus, will save time and expenses on transportation and accommodation.

In her message, Dr. Barrion said that the establishment of the center in October 2021 was compelled by the fervent desire of the Bicol Medical Center to address the increasing demand for prompt and accessible cardiovascular care in Bicol region.

She said the center constitutes four units, namely, the cardiovascular surgery, the cardiac intensive care, the cardiac catheterization, both diagnostics, and intervention, and the non-invasive tests include cardiovascular echo, stress test, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, Holter Test, and Electrocardiogram (ECG).

“Each unit is equipped with state-of-the-art medical apparatuses and hospital equipment and manned by medical staff who are well-trained, possessing the capability to meet the goal for our cardiac center to be the frontline in cardiovascular care in the Bicol region that offers first-class and highly specialized services,” Barrion said.

She announced that the center has interventional cardiologists who have undertaken specialized training to perform interventional procedures on the heart, which consist of placing stents in the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries) to open up blockages that will help restore blood flow to patients who are having heart attacks.


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