Cardiac CT scanner a first for the region

Patients needing specialist heart scans can now get them performed locally in a new state-of-the-art CT scanner.

The vision of Sunshine Coast Heart Specialists—the coast’s largest locally owned cardiology group—the dedicated heart scanner is part of the new Atria centre at Sippy Downs, which opened to patients last month.

Interventional cardiologist and structural heart specialist Dr Peter Larsen said the scanner allowed patients rapid access to the latest cardiac technology and expert advice.

“Our cardiac CT cardiologists are present for every scan and can provide immediate feedback and advice for further treatment and management,” he said.

Part of the new multi-modality cardiac investigation centre at Sippy Downs, the new scanner can perform CT coronary angiograms, which can detect blockages and help to prevent future heart attacks.

The team will also use it to improve the health of Sunshine Coast residents through low-cost, quick and painless CT coronary artery calcium scores.

“We’re committed to delivering world-class cardiac care on the Sunshine Coast, and the coronary artery calcium score is the best test we have for predicting heart attacks,” Dr Larsen said.

“We can predict someone’s future heart health: we get excellent images with ultra-low-dose radiation, simply from a person lying for a few minutes in the heart scanner.”

Sunshine Coast Heart Specialists’ cardiologists work together around the clock as a heart team to offer comprehensive cardiac care across all sub-specialties.

The team is ‘no-gap’ for procedures performed in hospital.

They have consulting rooms at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital at Birtinya, Caboolture Private Hospital, Noosa–Tewantin, Nambour Selangor Private Hospital and Gympie, as well as Sippy Downs.

The team of 40 includes cardiac scientists and sonographers so most cardiac tests and procedures, such as echocardiography and stress testing, can be carried out when a patient visits.

To make an appointment to see a cardiologist or for CT heart scans, a GP referral is needed.

The Sunshine Coast Heart Specialists’ CT heart scanner is being operated in partnership with Sunshine Coast Radiology.