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CARDIOLOGY: The heart of the matter

Prof. Michael Glikson
Prof. Michael Glikson

The Jesselson Integrated Heart Center has become one of Israel's leading providers of comprehensive cardiac care

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 4:26 PM

Established in 1994 in response to a long, country-wide waiting list for open-heart surgery and invasive heart procedures such as catheterisations, the Jesselson Integrated Heart Center has become one of Israel's leading providers of comprehensive cardiac care, which provides all types of cardiac care under one roof. It is also an international centre of excellence in the catheterisation-based implantation of stents and aortic valves and in the repair of mitral and tricuspid valves, as well as arrhythmia management and cardiac imaging. The Heart Center attracts patients from throughout Israel and abroad, with a yearly average of nearly 2,700 heart catheterisations (50 per cent of which are interventional angioplasties with stent implantation), 1,000 arrhythmia-related procedures, including very complex ablations, and thousands of echocardiograms, stress tests and Holter monitor tests.

Despite the increase in new non-surgical cardiac techniques, some cardiac problems must still be addressed by surgery. The Jesselson Heart Center's cardiothoracic surgery department has achieved remarkable results in coronary bypass surgery, valve and aortic surgery, as well as artificial heart (LVAD) implantation, despite a patient mix with greater-than-average risk factors.

Prof. Glikson served as the secretary and the chair of the Israeli working group on pacing and electrophysiology, and later became the president of the Israel Heart Society from 2015-2017. He chaired the programme of the European heart rhythm meetings in 2015 and 2017. He also served as an elected board member (councilor) of the European Society of Cardiology 2018-2020 and is currently the chair of the taskforce for writing the ESC guidelines for pacing 2021, and sits on various committees of the ESC. Prof. Glikson serves as the co-president of the International Dead Sea Symposium in Israel. Besides being a professor of cardiology in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he serves as an adjunct professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in the US.

Prof. Glikson describes his working philosophy: "I am constantly demanding of myself and of those around me to see what we can improve every day - from the appearance of the department, to the approach in our treatment procedures, to the burden of bureaucracy, to what happens in the catheterisation lab and operating theatres. If you want to lead, you have to pay attention to all details all the time. As a doctor, I focus on thoroughness and attention to detail, especially when taking the patient's history. I explore every detail thoroughly before performing any complex procedures, and never, not until my last day in the profession, will I stop learning."

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