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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Central: a private hospital for heart treatment and surgery

Doctors in the operating theatre
Doctors in the operating theatre. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Central: a private hospital for heart treatment and surgery

Of the many private hospitals in Phnom Penh, Central is the only one equipped with modern equipment for treating general diseases, especially its Sarne machine from the US that plays a key role for heart treatment and surgery.

Dr Morm Bunsocheat, a specialist in heart surgery at Central Hospital, said that in the modern theatre for heart surgery heart disease is the most dangerous one as it can kill the patient suddenly when it turns to become a serious condition, and no doctor can save that life.

“The rate of heart patients in Cambodia and in the region is not far different, but the difference is that in highly developing countries and lowly developed countries, they are going in the opposite direction,” Dr Bunsocheat said.

“In Cambodia, the high rate of heart patients is caused by a lack of sufficient nutritious food and low hygiene in their daily living conditions. On the contrary, in developed countries such as Thailand, one of our neighbours, the high rate of heart patients is caused by excessively eating, particularly food that is rich in cholesterol, and some people who are too lazy to do excise.

“Nowadays, the treatment of heart disease is carried out according to two stages. The first one is the treatment by using medicine based on each actual case of the disease, while the second is the surgery or change of heart (in some more advanced countries), and in the future the treatment could be carried out in a new way without surgery,” he added.

“Treatment by surgery is a case that we are careful with the most so that we achieve the result from 98 per cent upwards. As a heart specialist, I need a 100 per cent clear diagnosis, need modern machines and equipment for heart surgery and other specialist teams to cooperate before, during and after the surgical operation.

“In short, we have specialists not fewer than 10 for each case of surgery. We all work in a team and we all have only one role; that’s to save the life of the patient,” added Dr Bunsocheat.

The Central Hospital was established at the beginning of last year, and this expert team have been operating and doing heart surgery on hundreds of cases, and they make sure all patients are well cared for.

Being a specialist in giving diagnosis by using high-tech machines along with his extensive experience in examining and treating general heart diseases, Dr Sok Hay said that “before giving a diagnosis for any patient on working out how to treat it, we must examine and monitor the disease appropriately. This must be based on the results of the scanning by high-end technology which is the most accurate”.

“So then we can decide which is the best way to choose the right treatment, because all treatments and surgeries are carried out according to the diagnosis.

“Generally, heart diseases are divided into two major types: heart disease from birth and heart disease when people have already grown up. We have noted that most of our patients who are suffering from heart disease from birth come from poor families and the disease started when they were unborn babies or in their first three months.”

This is why pregnant women are asked to consult with a doctor during the early stages of their pregnancy so they get some way of knowing how to take care of their baby in a healthy and appropriate manner.

During this stage, pregnant women are not allowed to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, take drugs or some medicines and food that contain some poisonous substances.

For heart disease that occurs when people have already grown up, it is mostly caused by people who lack hygiene in their daily living, especially children or people who often have sore throats and chronic respiratory disease, the doctors said.

Dr Sok Hay emphasised that the symptoms for heart disease are slow growth in babies and a slow weight gain, tiredness, laziness to breast-feed, coughing or frequent bronchitis, pale lips, swollen fingernails and toenails. Other symptoms include being pale, an abnormal heart beat, chest pain, dizziness, headaches, falling unconscious and a thickness of the blood.

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