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Surgery and Complex Care

Specialized medicine

Leaders in surgery and complex care.

Between St. Paul’s and Mount Saint Joseph Hospitals, our teams perform more than 10,000 surgical procedures each year! Why are we so busy? Because we are home to some of the best and brightest medical professionals in the world. This deep well of expertise has led us to become a provincial referral centre for patients from across BC and Yukon needing highly-specialized care.

Here are a few of the areas in which we are provincial – and often national and international – leaders in surgery and complex care.

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St. Paul’s Hospital is the provincial referral centre for women with the most complex, high-risk pregnancies.

In addition to being a Level 3 maternity hospital, we have BC’s only specialized cardiac and renal obstetrics programs and a neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit for babies who need extra care.

As many as 20% of the 1,600 babies born here each year are considered high risk, so it’s reassuring for new moms to be at a world-class hospital.

Breast care

The Providence Breast Centre (PBC) at Mount St. Joseph is renowned for its expertise in breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, and reconstruction.

PBC does the most breast cancer surgeries in BC – and the second most in Canada.

Our program is unique in that women wanting post-mastectomy reconstruction can often have their surgeries done during the same visit.

As a provincial referral centre, PBC handles BC’s most complex surgical cases. Patients are seen by a multidisciplinary team that includes nurse navigators to help patients at every stage of their treatment and recovery.

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The Rotary Hearing and Balance Centre at St. Paul’s is the provincial referral centre for the most complex ear, hearing, and balance disorders.

We were the first, and are the only, service in BC to perform adult cochlear implants: to date, we’ve done more than 900 of these life-changing surgeries.

In 2020, our team participated in the province’s first-ever auditory brainstem implant procedure.


We are home to the provincial Adult Bleeding Disorders Program.

Our specialists treat patients with life-altering blood disorders including anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, and HIV-related blood disorders.

Because our patients come from across BC and Yukon, hematology staff work closely with health care practitioners in communities across the province to deliver outstanding continuity of care.

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Between St. Paul’s and Mount Saint Joseph Hospitals, we are home to BC’s busiest eye specialists.

We are the provincial centre for corneal transplants, neuro-ophthalmology, and uveitis. We are a regional centre for retinal surgery, retinal disease, and glaucoma.

Each year, surgeons at MSJ perform up to 80% of BC’s life-changing corneal transplants and 8,000 cataract procedures.


St. Paul’s Sinus Centre is the Canadian leader in skull-based surgery and research.

The team boasts one of the top sinus surgeons in the world and the only doctor in western Canada to regularly perform surgery for NPC, a rare, debilitating nasopharyngeal cancer.

And yes, we were the first in Canada to treat patients with chronic sinus conditions by transplanting healthy nasal mucus. In other words, a snot transplant.

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I’m not just here to add years to your life. I want to improve the quality of your life. So you can speak well, smell the flowers, enjoy your food – all the simple things.

Dr. Andrew Thamboo

Rhinologist, Research Director, St. Paul’s Sinus Centre

Your donation supports this life-saving research.

Dr. Thamboo and his team are working with the BC Cancer Agency to identify blood markers for nasopharyngeal cancer that could detect NPC in its earliest stages.

Read more about NPC and how we’re pioneering new, minimally invasive treatments for NPC and other cancers that disproportionately affect Asian Canadians.

Read now
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“It was amazing how fast the Breast Centre was able to pull everything together to schedule my mastectomy and reconstruction so they could be done on the same day. It was all so reassuring.”

In only six weeks, Lucia Y. went from a healthy, active 40-something to a breast cancer diagnosis, to a double mastectomy.

Thanks to the care she received at the Providence Breast Centre, just six months later, Lucia was back to her healthy, active self.

Your donation helps women and the people who love them.

Read Lucia’s story

People are living longer with chronic, multiple conditions: kidney disease and diabetes, COPD and heart disease, chronic pain and mental illness.

Patients may need multiple specialists, high-tech diagnostics and treatments, and ongoing follow-ups.

This is all part of what we call “surgery and complex care.” And this is where Providence really shines.

Our team. Your generous donation. Together, we’re saving and improving lives right across BC.

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