John Flynn Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Cardiothoracic Services

Cardiothoracic Services

John Flynn Private Hospital is the largest private cardiothoracic centre on the Gold Coast offering the latest in cardiothoracic technology, highly skilled and internationally trained Cardiologists, Interventionalists , Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Respiratory Physicians and Cardiothoracic Electrophysiologists, supported by specially skilled nursing staff. Patients have access to first-class accommodation at our hospital that together, ensures the provision of the very best cardiothoracic care.

John Flynn Private Hospital offers our patients:

  • A multidisciplinary Valve Surgery Team, including Cardiologist Surgeons and Rehabilitation Specialists.
  • A multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Team, including Respiratory Physicians, Oncology, Chemotherapy and Radiation.
  • Access to the latest technologies in cardiothoracic and cardiology diagnostic services.
  • An emergency interventional cardiology service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Referral to our expert Cardiothoracic Surgeons 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • A 12 bed Intensive Care Unit.
  • A specialized 10 bed Coronary Care Unit which is supported by 18 accredited Cardiologists.
  • A 56 bed Cardiothoracic/ Cardiology Ward.
  • Comprehensive onsite post-procedural rehabilitation program.

Cardiothoracic Procedures

Cath lab

Angioplasty and Stenting

Blood flow to a narrowed area of your artery may be improved by stretching open the narrowing with a small cylindrical balloon. The balloon is position across the narrowed area of the artery, and when inflated the balloon stretches the artery wall and compresses the fatty plaque/ cholesterol.

Once the narrowing has been widened, a stent is usually inserted. A stent is a very fine mesh cylinder usually composed of stainless steel or cobalt. The stent then acts as a metal scaffolding to support that section or artery. Once the stent has been positioned, it cannot be moved or removed and over time the stent will become embedded in the artery wall.

Following a PTCA/stenting procedure, it is current practice for most patients to remain monitored in hospital overnight.

At all times, please do not hesitate to ask questions about your procedure or your hospitalization. Not all coronary artery narrowings are suitable for angioplasty. Some lesions (narrowings) diagnosed during angiography may best be treated medically and others may best be treated surgically, that is, by coronary artery bypass grafting. Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you and explain the reasons for his/her recommendations.

Cardiovascular Labs

Patients receive expert medical care to evaluate, diagnose and treat all types of cardiothoracic and cardiovascular diseases and conditions. Our specialists perform a full spectrum of diagnostic, therapeutic and interventional services utilizing non-invasive and invasive procedures. Advanced testing and treatments are available using current technologies that are exclusive to John Flynn Private Hospital.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is a procedure used to treat coronary artery disease, which is the narrowing of the coronary arteries – the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Coronary Artery Disease is caused by a build-up of fatty material within the walls of the arteries. This build-up narrows the inside of the arteries, limiting the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

One way to treat the blocked or narrowed arteries is to bypass the blocked portion of the coronary artery with a piece of a healthy blood vessel, usually a vein from your leg or an artery in your chest. An artery from your wrist may also be used. Your doctor attaches one end of the graft above the blockage and the other end below the blockage. Blood bypasses the blockage by going through the new graft to reach the heart

There is 0% mortality rate for this procedure in years 2015-17.

Mitral Valve Surgery

Mitral valve surgery is to either repair or replace the mitral valve in your heart. Blood flows from the lungs and enters called the left atrium in the heart, and then flows into the left ventricle. The mitral valve is located between these two chambers to ensure the blood keeps flowing through the heart.

You may need surgery on your mitral valve if:

  • The mitral valve is hardened (calcified). This prevents blood flowing through the valve.
  • The mitral valve is too loose. Blood tends to flows backward when this occurs.

Mini mitral valve surgery is done in 50% of appropriate cases with a 90% success of repair rate.

Aortic Valve Surgery

Surgery to replace an aortic valve is performed for aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. During the surgery, the damaged valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve.

The mini aortic valve surgery approach is performed in all cases, with a 0.5% mortality rate in patients with mean age of 80 years.

Aortic Surgery (Hybrid Aortic Surgery)

Hybrid surgery is a treatment used to repair aneurysms or more complex aortic disease in patients considered too high risk for conventional surgery who do not have an endovascular alternative. The procedure often involves the part of the aorta that contains critical blood vessels extending to the head, arms or abdominal organs such as the kidneys, intestine and liver.

A combined approach will first restore blood flow to critical blood vessels away from an aneurysm in an open surgical procedure. The repair is completed repair of the damaged part of the aorta using a minimally invasive endovascular technique.

Pectus Excavatum Surgery using NUSS procedure

The procedure for Pectus Excavatum Surgery is minimally invasive whereby two small incisions are made to the side of the chest and an introducer is pushed along posterior to the sternum and ribs and anterior to the heart & lungs. A concave bar is then positioned under the sternum using a thoracoscope. A metal plate stabliliser is then inserted to secure the sternum.

Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) is minimally invasive thoracic surgery that does not use a formal thoracotomy incision, and allows for a shorter operating time, reduces morbidity rates and faster recovery.

98% of all thoracic proceduers are performed via the thoracoscopic approach.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

John Flynn Private Hospital offers a range of heart and lung surgical procedures with the latest surgical techniques and when combined with first-class standards of accommodation we ensure our patients receive the very best care with all heart and lung operations.

Our Cardiothoracic Services Department comprise of dedicated cardiothoracic operating suites, an Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit and Cardiothoracic/Cardiology Ward. John Flynn Private Hospital offers you the latest techniques in the surgical treatment of all heart and lung diseases, including minimally invasive Valve Surgery, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS). Our team consists of highly skilled surgeons, perfusionists, nurses and allied health professionals.

John Flynn Private Hospital working with our dedicated Cardiothoracic Surgeons provides a 24 hour on-call service. We offer a complete range of heart and lung surgical procedures with the latest surgical techniques which include minimally invasive heart and lung surgery and NUSS surgery.

Coronary Care

The Coronary Care Unit is a 10 bed critical care area with advanced monitoring equipment and facilities to manage all acute coronary care patients, as well as private rooms with ensuites and views across the ocean and Hinterland. The Unit is staffed with cardiothoracic specialist nurses who are committed to supporting both the patients and their family's individual psychosocial needs.

Facilities include:

  • State-of-the-art Phillips monitoring – advanced algorithms for detection of arrhythmias
  • Extensive monitoring – 1 lead ECGs at the bedside
  • Upgraded Telemetry Units to enable patients rhythm to be viewed at the bedside
  • 10 beds – upgrades with ensuites
  • Ocean and Hinterland views

Cardiology - Cardiothoracic Step Down

Patients recovering from heart surgery can look forward to recovering in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit. The Unit is well appointed with private rooms complete with the latest telemetry monitoring, which allows patients to move around the Unit whilst still being monitored by equipment via a small transmitter worn by the patients.

The Cardiothoracic Medical Unit which is located adjacent to the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit cares for patients with medical conditions such as angina, arrhythmias and those recovering from heart attacks.

Cardiothoracic Rehabilitation Program

The John Flynn Private Hospital Cardiothoracic Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive education and exercise program designed to optimise physical, psychological, occupational and social recovery following an acute cardiothoracic event within a supportive environment.

The program runs over a four week period. During this time the patient will participate in an individually prescribed exercise program and also attend education sessions with an emphasis on cardiothoracic education and behaviour modification techniques.

The sessions are aimed at increasing understanding of heart disease and the positive action that can be taken to reduce risk factors and future cardiothoracic events.

Patients participate if they have had a heart attack, balloon angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair surgery or if they have stable angina or risk factors for heart disease.

John Flynn Private Hospital further offers Physiotherapy, Dieticians and on-site support services including diagnostic echo-cardiography, echo stress testing and holter monitors.

Emergency Management of a heart attack

Immediate medical treatment for patients experiencing a suspected heart attack is essential. A heart attack happens when blood flow in a coronary artery to the heart muscle is blocked. This is a life-threatening situation and medical treatment is urgently needed at this time. In this urgent situation, the facilities on the John Flynn Private Hospital campus enable direct access to emergency diagnostic and treatment services around the clock.

What is an Angiogram?

Your angiogram will provide valuable information for the ongoing management of your health. An angiogram is the procedure of introducing a fine plastic tube (catheter) into an artery and then injecting a dye into the bloodstream. The x-ray pictures taken during this procedure are used to provide information to your doctor regarding the arteries to your heart. Most angiograms are performed using a local anaesthetic.

Your cardiologist will then tell you if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, and can then advise you of your treatment options.

Ben AndersonDr Ben Anderson


Director Gold Coast Cardiothoracic Unit – John Flynn Private Hospital

The goal of Gold Coast Heart Surgery is to provide safe and best practice cardiothoracic care. A Centre of Excellence in cardiac and thoracic surgery was established to drive best outcome in surgery as part of an all encompassing Centre of Excellence in Surgery at John Flynn Private Hospital.

Our desire for excellence is driven by ongoing education, peer-to-peer audit, multidisciplinary co-operation, teaching, college examinations and research.

We have a dedication to minimally invasive surgery in aortic surgery, mitral valve repair and thoroscopic lung and tumour resection. Our TAVR (percutaneous aortic valve replacement) program involves a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists and rehabilitation specialist with surgeons to provide the most appropriate aortic valve replacement strategy for every patient.

Mitral repair and replacement has been provided by traditional open approach but our focus is upon minimally invasive (keyhole) and percutaneous (via the femoral vein) Mitraclip methods.

Chest surgery in this practice for lung and mediastinal pathology is almost exclusively via thoroscopic (VATS or keyhole) approach. Our multidisciplinary team of respiratory physicians, radiologists, radiation specialists and oncologists determine best plan for each patient with chest conditions especially lung cancer. Recovery is far less painful and faster with a VATS approach.

I maintain a commitment to self-education and that of our team, visiting university students and junior doctors. I sponsor members of the team to attend national and international conferences. I was convenor for the ANZCTS national scientific conference on the Gold Coast and am a committed member of the RACS Academy of Surgical Educators and participate in College of Surgeons Physiology and Standard Setting Examination Committees. Myself and the team regularly travel to other units at home and abroad to maintain and improve our services. We have students and other specialists regularly view our surgical team in action.

I have a strong interest in research and innovation which began as a research degree in neurophysiology looking at real time processing of vidual information in rabbit retina. As a member of the International Asia-Pacific Medical Advisory board for Medtronic, I have the privilege to hear and contribute opinion on latest medical device development and implementation. My latest scientific research was the fantastic opportunity to be involved in artificial heart development at the MERF centre which is published.

In vivo Evaluation of Active and Passive Physiological Control Systems for Rotary Left and Right Ventricular Assist Devices (Shaun D Gregory, Michael C Stevens, Jo P Pauls, Emma Schummy, Sara Diab, Bruce Thomson, Ben Anderson, Geoff Tansley, Robert Salamonsen, John F Fraser and Daniel Timms).