Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases

Although most heart-related diseases are easily preventable by modifying lifestyle habits (among other factors), many fail to implement these guidelines. In addition, non-preventable factors like family history of heart disease; gender (men are at greater risk); aging; ethnicity and congenital defects contribute to heart disease. Unfortunately, whatever the circumstances, many people require treatment for this ailment as the incidence rate of heart disease continues to rise, as do medical costs. This is problematic, particularly for those uninsured or not fully covered for medical treatment.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, claiming the lives of over 600,000 people annually
  • The most common type is coronary heart disease, it costs $108.9 billion alone – every year
  • Every 43 seconds someone has a heart attack
  • Every minute someone dies from heart disease
  • Almost 50% of Americans that have high blood pressure, cholesterol or smoke are at high risk of developing heart disease

High Costs for Cardiac Surgery

In the US, the high cost of treatment and long waiting times for medical procedures has steered a new trend for people to seek treatment abroad – termed medical tourism. It is estimated that by 2021, around 1.6 million Americans would be seeking treatment abroad. Patients can benefit by receiving the very same procedure (initially required in their home country) at a fraction of the cost in another country known for that particular procedure’s success rate.

According to the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) Israel has become one of the top destinations for medical treatment with proven success rates across various fields of medicine. Over 50,000 medical tourists visit Israel annually, this figure generated $260 million in 2014.

Bypass surgery is one of the most sought after procedures abroad: Patients coming from abroad to Israel will pay around $30,000 (compared to the US - $120,000); in fact, overall, treatment costs are 35% cheaper in Israel than the US. The cost of airfare and accommodation for the duration of the treatment course are still significantly cheaper than what one would pay in the US.  

 

Revolutionary Medicine in Cardiology

Cardiology in Israel is a complex and dynamic field of medicine, requiring the solid expertise of exceptional specialists that screen, diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases associated with the cardiovascular system.

Patients traveling to Israel can expect high quality treatments and top hospital standards that adhere to strict international hospital protocols. A broad spectrum of diagnostics, treatments and rehabilitation plans are available, patients can expect tailored treatment plans that meet their needs, without the long waiting times they would experience in the US.

Israel offers all types of cardiac surgery, which vary in degree of complexity, such as valve replacement, bypass surgery and catheterization, as well as other non-surgical interventions. Hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art imaging techniques like echocardiography, cardiac CT and MRI that ensure early and accurate diagnoses of a wide spectrum of heart-related conditions. In addition, these advanced diagnostic technologies reduce the need for invasive procedures. In cases where surgery is inevitable, minimally invasive surgery is performed, it replaces traditional surgery resulting in significantly reduced percentage of complications and a positive prognosis for the patient.

In Israel, the balloon angioplasty procedure for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction is performed faster (and more extensively) than in most other countries. A multidisciplinary approach, revolutionary techniques and implementation of novelties in the field of cardiology, such as the ABSORB Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) are the hallmark of a successful outcome. Patients post-surgery undergo comprehensive rehabilitation, follow-up treatments and advice by their specialists regarding future preventative measures.

Israel’s immense success in the field of cardiology is recognized worldwide – the European Heart Journal (of the European Society of Cardiology) reported Israeli hospitals having the lowest mortality rate from heart attacks in comparison to another 29 countries.

Israel is at the forefront of developments in cardiology, in terms of research, procedures and cardiology devices - particularly stents and pace makers. Recent developments in the field of cardiology include innovations to prevent heart attacks – Eximo’s hybrid catheter (CatHI) combines laser and mechanics for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and DiACardio’s LVivo, a software algorithm platform for accurate evaluations of echocardiograms. Just recently, an Israeli company made history in the medical device industry: American company HeartWare International bought Israel’s Valtech Cardio for $929 million making it the biggest buy-out of an Israeli medical device company. Valtech developed a replacement device for the treatment of mitral valve and tricuspid valve regurgitation – a condition in which there is a backflow of blood from the left ventricle into the atrium. This brings good news and broadens treatment options as HeartWare estimates that 4.2 million Americans have mitral valve disease, and 1.2 million have mitral valve and tricuspid valve regurgitation.

Israeli ingenuity and development within medical technologies and devices has flourished, bolstering the field of medical care and beyond – improving patients’ quality of life, not just in Israel but also on a global scale. Along with its medical triumphs, Israel continues to invest in research, further specialist training, medical equipment and techniques to maintain its prominent status.

 

Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons in Israel

The majority of Israel’s leading cardiologists and cardiac surgeons completed fellowships in prestigious international institutions; many hold senior positions in major hospitals and are renowned in their specialized field. Further activities of Israeli specialists include lecturing and research, as well as authoring articles, many of which published in international scientific journals.

 

Professor Ran Kornowski. Prof. Kornowski a world-renowned expert in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology. His academic and clinical experience in Israel includes being a Professor of Cardiology in The Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv, head of the cardiology complex at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva, as well as a leading specialist at Herzliya Medical Center. Prof. Kornowski was also previously Chairman of the Israeli Working Group on Interventional Cardiology.

He is an active researcher and member of prestigious medical societies abroad and published over 300 articles related to cardiovascular medicine.  Prof. Kornowski completed a fellowship in heart catheterization at the Washington DC Medical Center, where he did his fellowship and then headed the special catheterizations unit. Prof. Kornowski is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC), and member of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (FSCAI).

 

Professor Dan Aravot. Prof. Aravot is currently head of the cardiothoracic surgery complex at Rabin Medical Center and conducts surgeries at Herzliya Medical Center. He is a leading specialist in coronary bypass surgeries and cardiac valve repairs/replacements. After obtaining his MD degree, he was accepted to a prestigious fellowship at the Harefield hospital in London. Following this, Prof. Aravot proceeded to Cambridge University, where he headed the heart and lungs transplant unit. Since returning to Israel in 1992, Prof. Aravot has revolutionized the field of heart transplantation, developed several cardiac surgical techniques and with multiple studies of his published. He is a member (and has held top positions) of various professional societies including the International Society of Heart & Lung Transplantation. Prof. Aravot’s extensive education and clinical experience has spanned decades, during his career he has worked under some of the most prized world-leading surgeons, all of which has led to his great achievements in cardiothoracic surgery – like the innovative Domino transplant method.

 

Doctor Ram Sharoni. Dr. Sharoni has over 15 years of experience, currently head of minimally invasive cardiac surgery at Rabin Medical Center and a senior cardiac surgeon at Herzliya Medical Center. He completed a two-year fellowship in minimally invasive cardiac surgery in New York University.  Dr. Sharoni then progressed to undertake a specialists’ course in Robotic Cardiac Surgery (developed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc., USA).  Furthermore, he spent a productive time in Paris and Brussels, where he completed several fellowships in cardiac valve repair. In addition, he completed an advanced course in minimally invasive valve replacement using the TAVI method, developed by Medtronic plc.

 

Doctor Yanai Ben-Gal. Dr. Ben-Gal is Deputy Chief of the Minimally Invasive and Hybrid Cardiac Surgery at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and a senior cardiologist at Herzliya Medical Center. Dr. Ben-Gal completed an advanced fellowship at Columbia University, NY, where he specialized in minimally invasive heart surgery, complex hybrid and endovascular procedures.

 

 

Doctor Michael Yonash. Dr. Yonash completed his MD degree in 1995 in Israel. Dr. Yonash proceeded to his post-doctorate studies and residency in Invasive Cardiology in Boston. Having completed his residency he was accepted to a one-year fellowship in Invasive Cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (teaching affiliate of Harvard medical school). He then stayed for another year of fellowship at the hospital, specializing in invasive treatment of peripheral vessels diseases, including vertebral arteries, renal arteries and lower extremities arteries. In 2010, after returning to Israel, he joined the team of the cardiology department at Kaplan Hospital as a senior attending physician. Dr. Yonash is in charge of invasive treatments of coronary arteries, minimally invasive treatments of valves diseases, diagnostic and therapeutic catheterization. He is also a senior cardiologist at Herzliya Medical Center.

 

Doctor Erez Sharoni. Dr. Sharoni finished his cardiothoracic surgery residency in 2000 and was accepted to a prestigious fellowship program at the Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. During his two-year fellowship, Dr. Sharoni specialized in complex cardiac surgeries, including bypass and valve procedures with and without a heart-lung machine. Since returning to Israel, he has been running the cardiothoracic surgery department at the Carmel Medical Center. He is a senior surgeon at HMC.

 

Herzliya Medical Center (HMC) is a private hospital, which accepts the majority of insurance policies from leading companies abroad. Most insurance policies offer comprehensive coverage for hospital treatments including hospitalization, medication and specialists. Medical tourists are required to submit their medical bill to their insurance provider when they have returned home in order to be reimbursed. For more information regarding insurance from abroad, contact HMC’s representatives. 

Herzliya Medical Center in Israel offers a range of treatments within various fields of medicine, including oncology, orthopedics, cardiology, IVF treatment, general surgery, diagnostics, and more. The renowned (aforementioned) specialists in the field of cardiac surgery and cardiology at HMC - Professor Aravot and Professor Kornowski treat local and foreign patients successfully. HMC offers a variety of surgical and non-surgical interventions in cardiology, such as stenting, valve replacement and treatment for arrhythmia.

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