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One year later: New vascular suite saves lives close to home

by Osler Staff | Sep 24, 2019

With just one glance, Betty Heuthorst knew right away that something was seriously wrong with her husband. His face was pale grey and he was grimacing in pain. Betty immediately called 911 and waited by his side for the ambulance to arrive.

In the hours and days that followed, Theo Heuthorst underwent a series of tests which revealed he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm – a potentially life-threating enlargement of a major blood vessel. The only treatment would be surgery and at 83 years of age, there would be a number of risks and factors to consider. Theo was referred to Dr. Varun Kapila – a leader in vascular and endovascular surgery and Chief of Vascular Surgery at Osler.

That was one year ago and before Theo became the first patient to undergo surgery in Osler’s new state-of-the-art Endovascular Therapeutics Suite at Brampton Civic Hospital. Serving a community with higher than average prevalence of peripheral vascular disease, the Suite was developed to ensure local residents like Theo have access to the best limb- and life-saving surgical procedures close to home. And one year since the Suite was opened, Dr. Kapila is proud of the world-class care that Osler is able to provide.

In the last year, the Suite has supported the delivery of leading-edge care close to home for more than 500 patients through 11 different types of surgeries.

“Since the suite opened, we have been able to use the various technologies in it to provide patients with the safest and least invasive procedures possible,” said Dr. Kapila. “We are performing surgeries in a community hospital which are usually performed in leading vascular centres around the world, and the impact this has on patient care and outcomes is tremendous.”

The Suite is the most innovative and technologically-advanced in Canada and is a first for any community hospital in the country. It was opened thanks to a transformational $5 million donation from Orlando Corporation and serves as a space for interventional radiology as well as an operating room. This helps vascular and endovascular surgeons and interventional radiologists work together to provide personal, more seamless care for patients.

“With the technology and expertise available at Osler, patients are able to undergo less invasive and shorter surgeries, which means they are able to go home sooner and recover quicker,” said Dr. Kapila. “We are able to treat a growing number of patients and are excited about the increasing number of advanced surgeries this suite continues to make possible.”

One day after his surgery, Theo was back at home recovering with support from Betty and his daughter Tammy. Today, Theo is well and he and Betty couldn’t be happier about the outcome of his surgery and care at Osler.

“I appreciate that Theo is still here with me,” said Betty. “It could have gone the other way and I am so grateful for the care that Theo received.”

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