Heart and/or lung

May 30th, 2012

St. Paul’s is world-renowned for the treatment and prevention of the often-linked diseases of the heart and lungs.

As home to the provincial Heart Centre, St. Paul’s provides a full spectrum of treatment and care to patients, including surgery, transplants, rehabilitation and many cardiac services available nowhere else in BC. The concentration of cardiac professionals at St. Paul’s – and their participation in research and teaching – has led to the development of many “firsts” in the care of heart disease.

St. Paul’s also provides specialized care for patients with serious breathing problems and world-leading work in areas such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and early diagnosis of lung cancer.

Key programs and accomplishments


St. Paul’s was the first in BC to treat atrial fibrillation, irregular or abnormal heartbeats in the two top chambers of the heart, using a lifesaving technique called ablation. Ablation is a procedure in which small wires are inserted in the upper leg and advanced into the heart to apply small burns to areas responsible for the signals that cause the irregular heatbeats.

Heart transplants

St. Paul’s is the only hospital in BC that performs adult heart transplants.

Healthy Heart Program

This acclaimed program helps patients from across B.C. take control of their health and transition back to a normal lifestyle after a diagnosis with heart disease. The programs records 20,000 visits per year.

Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) Clinic

The PACH Clinic at St. Paul’s is the only clinic in B.C. that provides integrated care for adults with complex health problems stemming from congenital heart defects.

Transcatheter heart valve (THV) procedures

St. Paul’s is recognized internationally as a pioneer of transcatheter heart valve (THV) procedures to treat diseases that inhibit the flow of blood through the valves of the heart. These minimally invasive procedures involve inserting a thin tube with a replacement valve into the body through a small incision, then directing it to the heart through an artery. Dr. John Webb of St. Paul’s has performed more of these procedures than anyone in the world and has taught these techniques to healthcare professionals in more than 25 countries. Learn more.

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program

St. Paul’s has Canada’s busiest and largest ventricular assist device (VAD) program of its kind in Canada. VADs are mechanical hearts for patients awaiting heart transplants or patients with weak hearts who need a “break” to recover. St. Paul’s performed its 100th VAD implant in 2012, 10 years after the program first started. Learn more.


St. Paul’s Respiratory Division sees more patients with respiratory illnesses than any other BC hospital. In addition to care provided at the hospital, the Respiratory Division also serves patients in outlying areas and those who are otherwise hard to reach through outreach clinics in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Gibsons, Sechelt, Hope, Vancouver Island and, occasionally, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Programs offered include the provincial adult cystic fibrosis program, the use of specialized technology to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages and world-leading care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

How you can help

Make a donation to support world-leading care, research and teaching at St. Paul’s that benefits heart and lung patients throughout BC and around the world.

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