Cardiovascular system (in general)

Sakakibara Heart Institute


【Hospital Overview】

The Sakakibara Heart Institute is a cardiovascular hospital established in 1977 by Dr. Shigeru Sakakibara, who is known as a world authority on cardiac surgery. In addition to this hospital, there are the Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic and the Health Checkup Center, a branch of Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic, which provide services ranging from cardiovascular examinations (medical checkups) to specialized treatment in surgery and internal medicine, and treat patients with all cardiovascular diseases in all life stages from fetal to old age.

Awarded “World’s Best Specialized Hospitals,” a signature of high international recognition, for three consecutive years!

“World’s Best Specialized Hospitals” is a joint survey and award by Newsweek and Statista in the areas of Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology. The hospital has been accredited in the field of Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology for three consecutive years beginning in 2022. In addition to patient evaluations, more than half of the recommendations are from medical professionals around the world, which is proof of international recognition as an excellent medical services provider that is recognized by medical professionals. Patients can rest assured that they will receive the world’s highest standards of treatment.

We interviewed Dr. Tomohiro Iwakura, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery and Director of the Minimally Invasive Heart Disease Comprehensive Treatment Center at Sakakibara Heart Institute, who established the ” Minimally Invasive Heart Disease Comprehensive Treatment Center ” as a specialized team for minimally invasive treatment.

    Dr. Tomohiro Iwakura

EAJ: If someone wishes to receive treatment at your hospital from overseas, what are the features, strengths, and advantages of your hospital?

Dr. Iwakura: We offer a variety of methods of treatment, but we are actively implementing minimally invasive treatments. Minimally invasive treatment is a treatment method that is expected to improve the quality of life after treatment because it reduces the burden on the body during treatment compared to general heart surgery. This is characterized by diagnosis and treatment using medical equipment such as endoscopes and catheters in order to minimize pain and bleeding associated with treatment and examinations.

The benefits of minimally invasive treatment include:

  • Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is less painful than traditional cardiac surgery because it does not incise the sternum.
  • Small incisions reduce the risk of postoperative infection.
  • Fewer incisions allow for earlier discharge from the hospital and earlier return to society.
  • Because it is an endoscopic heart surgery, the incision is small and the scar is not noticeable.

For patients from overseas, there may be a lot of anxiety as they will have to leave their familiar place and hospital for treatment. I believe that many people wish to return to their home country as soon as possible, so minimally invasive treatment has many benefits and is recommended.

EAJ: I heard that you have established a “Minimally Invasive Heart Disease Comprehensive Treatment Center” within your hospital, which is a specialized team for minimally invasive treatments. Please tell us about the characteristics of the center.

Dr. Iwakura: The Minimally Invasive Heart Disease Comprehensive Treatment Center aims to provide patients with the best possible care in the perioperative period (the period from before to after surgery) through comprehensive intervention using state-of-the-art medical technology and activating a heart team consisting of members from interdisciplinary medical departments and multiple professions, including the physician division, nursing, pharmacy, clinical laboratory, nutrition management, administrative department, medical consultation department, radiology department, and rehabilitation department. One of the key features of our post-operative care is the ability to provide cardiac rehabilitation, wound management, arrhythmia management, and other care to enhance physical and mental recovery and quality of life.

EAJ: Overseas patients request not only advanced medical technology but also convenience.

Dr. Iwakura: The Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic, where a patient can receive a cardiovascular checkup, is very conveniently located in Shinjuku with good transportation access. If the cardiovascular checkup reveals any worrisome abnormalities, the patient can still be transferred to Sakakibara Heart Institute for one-stop treatment. Normally, patients would have to go through the process of ordering a complete set of medical information, including examination information, to be submitted to the treating medical services provider, but since both Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic and Sakakibara Heart Institute can share medical information, there is no need for patients to go through this process.

EAJ: Please send a message to patients from overseas who wish to receive cardiovascular check-ups and treatment at Sakakibara Heart Institute, Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic and the Health Checkup Center, a branch of Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic.

Dr. Iwakura: Sakakibara Heart Institute works with the Accredited Medical Travel Assistance Company (AMTAC) to coordinate and support patients so that they can receive treatment with peace of mind after arriving in Japan, such as coordinating the schedule of visits, obtaining visas and other complicated procedures before traveling, securing high-quality interpreters, and providing lifestyle support during their visit to Japan. It is also possible to receive “online medical consultation” which allows a patient to consult with a Japanese doctor about treatment from his/her home country without having to come to Japan for treatment.

Coming to Japan for treatment
Online medical consultation

If you would like to have a cardiovascular checkup or treatment at Sakakibara Heart Institute or its affiliated clinic, please contact EAJ first.

Related Articles: Sakakibara Heart Institute Clinic specialized for Cardiovascular Checkups