Hôpital de la Tour was opened in 1976, and the beginning of its Cardiovascular Department can be traced to the arrival i n 1980 of Dr. Antoine Bloch from the University Hospital in Geneva and the acquisition of the first echo cardiography machine. A new dimension to the service was provided by the initiation of open-heart surgery in 1983 under the guidance of Dr. Martin Schmutziger and the first cardiac catheterisation performed by Dr. Pierre Claude Fournet in April 1984. Rapidly, the Cardiovascular Department of La Tour became one of the most reputable services in Switzerland. Referrals of patients from abroad needing surgical treatment of complex heart diseases led to the development of new surgical procedures (minimally invasive or "beating-heart" surgery), interventional cardiology (PTCA), and the latest techniques and parameters in non-invasive diagnostics. One of the last complements to the total scope of services came with the introduction of invasive electrophysiology by Dr. Marc Zimmermann.
Under the leadership of Dr. Vladimir Velebit, the staff has provided thousands of hours of training and care to assist developing nations in obtaining know-how and self-sufficiency, with the major recent projects carried out in Sarajevo (Bosnia) and Tbilissi (Georgia). From among its pool of 200 hospitals, the former owner HCA, The Healthcare Company, awarded the title of "Center of Excellence" to La Tour in recognition of the quality and scope of services, which has enabled the Cardiovascular Research Foundation to pursue its training and research activities.
La Tour today is a 160-bed hospital and employs a staff of 900. With its multilingual environment and state-of the-art technology, it is a reference hospital for the local population as a whole, but especially for the international community of Geneva. A nucleus of 14 cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, many of whom are on the teaching staff at the Faculties of Medicine of Geneva and Lausanne Universities, continue to receive a growing number of emergent and elective referrals bath locally and from outside Switzerland.
The pace of change in medicine is constantly accelerating, and healthcare providers are today under ever increasing pressure to provide optimal care to individuals, while ma king the best possible use of available material and human resources. Nowhere are these constraints more evident than in the cardiovascular field. La Tour is committed to excellence, and strives to deliver timely treatment, using the best technology and know-how, in a caring environment. It is an effort without end, but worth every bit of the way.
Last modified on December 15th, 2015.
Unless specified otherwise, this text has been written by the editorial team.