Ground-breaking Intravascular Lithotripsy service offers relief for patients

St Vincent's Private Hospital Toowoomba is proud to offer ground-breaking TGA approved Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy to compliment our existing services.

Cardiologist Dr Ryan Schrale recently performed the minimally invasive surgery on 71 year old patient, Allan Maher. Allan, who lives in Goondiwindi, hadn’t been feeling one hundred percent for the past 18 months.

“I felt rushed when walking, and just didn’t feel that great.”

He was driving a forklift one day when he started feeling shooting pains in both arms. Upon returning to the house, he realised his blood pressure was also extremely high.

Allan received a referral to Dr Schrale at St Vincent’s Toowoomba and was sent for an echocardiogram and coronary angiogram. They revealed Allan’s arteries were 90% blocked, and a stent was not an initial option.

Rather than drill the calcified blockage, Dr Schrale opted for the newly TGA approved Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy. The technique involves inserting a catheter that uses ultrasonic pressure waves to crack the heavily calcified blockages. Trauma to the vessel wall is minimised and a stent is then able to be inserted. 

The procedure took around two hours, and Allan didn’t require a general anaesthetic. Less than 24 hours after surgery, Allan says he can already feel the difference.

“This is the best I’ve felt in the last five years.”

Allan says he is looking forward to enjoying his recent retirement and hopes to travel.

Dr Schrale has extensive experience with Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy and rotational atherectomy.

“It is very exciting to have this technology available for my patients.”

Dr Schrale graduated from the University of Adelaide Medical School, and subsequently stayed in Adelaide to complete his specialist cardiology training. He then went on to pursue a number of interventional cardiology fellowships internationally at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 2005, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in 2006. He was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Evidence-based Health Care from Oxford University. Dr Schrale works closely with a team of local expert Cardiologists and Scientists at the Toowoomba Cardiac Centre, located within the St Vincent’s Medical Centre. 

Our 16 bed cardiac ward, St Luke’s, is a specialised cardiac medical unit run by a dedicated team of experienced nursing staff. Private rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring to ensure patients recover in their comfortable, modern and peaceful environment in safety. Medical staff and on- call cardiologists are available 24 hours 7 days per week to assist in the event of an emergency.

Dr Schrale with St Vincent's staff and Allan Maher
L-R: Nicole Bryce (Hybrid Theatre CNC), Liz Hayes (St Luke’s NUM), Allan Maher, Dr Ryan Schrale & Abby Hannaford (Nurse)

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