Tygerberg Hospital

Tygerberg team 2

Tygerberg hospital is a large tertiary academic hospital in the greater Cape Town area. It serves a population of roughly 3 million people and currently has 1388 active beds out of a full initial capacity of 1988 beds. A truly monstrous building! The hospital functions as a training and teaching hospital for the Stellenbosch University medical school. The Medical school’s campus is adjacent to the Hospital grounds and the school’s administrative and teaching facilities adjoin the hospital building. The west side of the hospital has a beautiful view of Table Mountain and from the eastern vista the Stellenbosch mountains and vineyards beacon. The medical students here often find themselves with very difficult choices to make!

The Division of Cardiology is a busy general cardiology unit serving a large proportion of the Western Cape province of South Africa for tertiary cardiology services.  It is also responsible for the pre – and post – graduate training in cardiology for the Stellenbosch University medical school graduates.

The cardiology unit consists of:

  • 5 Consultant cardiologists
  • 5 Cardiology registrars in training – 3 year program (including 1 supernumerary fellow from Kenia currently)
  • 4 Internal medicine registrars on a 6-month rotation through cardiology
  • 5 full time Technologists
  • 4 Technologists in training
  • 1 Full time (Staff grade) Echocardiographer

The adult cardiology outpatient service sees around 4,500 – 5,000 patients annually and cardiology admissions total around 2,500 patients annually. Inpatient consultations handled by the unit is close to 4,000 patients annually (2013 stats).

Approximately 2,000 cathlab cases are done annually in the 2 cathlabs. This includes diagnostic work and PCI as well as mitral and aortic valvuloplasty. Pacing, including bivent pacing and ICD implantation is also done as routine.

The central diagnostic cardiac modality remains echocardiography and we have a very vibrant echo service here at Tygerberg hospital. The echolab does in excess of 6,000 echocardiograms annually. This includes approximately 250 TOEs and 150 Stress echocardiograms per year. 

In terms of echocardiographic training we run an echocardiography-training program called SUNecho from within the unit. This consists of both a tutorial-style lecture curriculum which is held on a weekly basis as well as hands on echocardiography training sessions and weekly echocardiography review sessions. In addition we have established an annual echocardiography course (BSE – type curriculum) called SUNecho which takes place in April each year and attracts between 80 – 95 delegates. (see: www.sunecho.co.za for more details). The favourable UK to SA exchange rate is seeing for the first UK attendee to SUNecho in 2014!

Our research interests are focused on valvular and pericardial disease although we have specific GUCH and Cardiomyopathy clinics and these are other areas of interest to our group.

Philip Herbst