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Getting to Know Dr Ong Sea Hing

"I believe in holistic care for my patients. In treating my patients, my core values include trust, compassion and competence."

Dr Ong Sea Hing is a heart specialist (cardiologist) practising at Parkway East Hospital. Dr Ong’s special interests are in interventional cardiology, including angioplasty and stenting.

  • Specialty:

    • Cardiology
  • Qualifications

    • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, University of Malaya
    • Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine), National University of Singapore
    • Member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK
    • Fellow of the Academy of Medicine (Cardiology)
  • Languages Spoken

    • Cantonese
    • English
    • Hokkien
    • Indonesian
    • Mandarin

Getting to Know Dr Ong Sea Hing

Getting to Know Dr Ong Sea Hing

Q: Please share with us some of your experiences as a doctor.

For me, being a medical doctor and especially a cardiologist has been an extremely fulfilling, meaningful and exciting career. I am fortunate to be one who looks forward to work each day. My experiences as a doctor include those with joy and satisfaction when my patients cheat death. #readmore

As a cardiologist, many of my patients present with life-threatening heart conditions, the commonest being heart attacks. I am also an interventional cardiologist, meaning I perform coronary angiograms, angioplasty and stenting.

Some heart attack patients require emergency angioplasty and stenting to save their lives. It is always satisfying to treat these patients who are very ill with severe chest pain, and after unblocking their artery with a stent, they are immediately relieved of their chest pain and become more stable.

I had a patient who had 2 arteries blocked 100% at the same time and I performed emergency stenting on both arteries. He was very ill with low blood pressure and I had to insert a balloon pump to keep his blood pressure up. Initially I was very concerned that he could not survive this massive heart attack but thankfully he did. More than 1 year after the heart attack, he is still alive and back to normal life. These experiences definitely make my job very fulfilling. 

Of course, there are also experiences that are painful, when some patients do not survive despite everything that medical advancements can do. I had another patient who suffered a massive heart attack and unfortunately, he was stuck on board a ship when it happened. By the time he got to the hospital, it had been more than 24 hours. Despite my efforts at successfully unblocking his heart artery, more than 2/3 of his heart had been damaged. His only hope was for a left ventricular assist device or a mechanical heart, and eventual heart transplant. However this unfortunate patient also developed severe infection, bleeding, and an eventual stroke, making it futile to further fix his heart. It is heart-wrenching to see patients deteriorate despite fighting to save his life for weeks.

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Q: What kind of conditions do you treat, or specialise in treating?

The conditions I treat are:

  1. Ischemic heart disease that includes heart attacks, angina pectoris, blocked heart arteries
  2. Chest pain syndromes
  3. Heart valve disorders eg. aortic stenosis and regurgitation, mitral stenosis or regurgitation
  4. Hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus #readmore
  5. Heart failure including patients with a weak heart (dilated cardiomyopathy) or thickened heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  6. Abnormal heart rhythms including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia
  7. Palpitations
  8. Fainting spells or syncope and dizziness
  9. Heart blocks and sick sinus syndrome including patients who need or have a pacemaker

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Q: Do you perform any kind of special treatments? If so, please share a little here.

My subspecialty is in interventional cardiology and structural heart interventions. I am also a general cardiologist. Hence the procedures and treatments that I perform include:

  1. Coronary angiogram
  2. Left and right heart catheterisation
  3. Coronary angioplasty and stenting (percutaneous coronary intervention) #readmore
  4. Intravascular ultrasound
  5. Fractional flow reserve measurement
  6. Intra-aortic balloon pump insertion
  7. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)
  8. Left atrial appendage occlusion
  9. Pericardiocentesis
  10. Rotablation 
  11. Echocardiography
  12. Exercise stress testing

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Q: Could you share your philosophy in treating patients?

I believe in holistic care for my patients. My patients present with heart conditions but there are other aspects of their lives that are important in their overall well-being, including other physical, emotional, social and even spiritual issues. Within my capacity, I try to address these issues as well. #readmore

In treating my patients, my core values include trust, compassion and competence. I hope to provide medical opinions and treatments based on integrity and what is in my patient’s best interests. My posture towards my patients is that of compassion and I strive to keep myself updated and on the cutting edge to hopefully bring the latest available treatments to my patient.

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Q: Briefly describe a particularly difficult case that you successfully treated using your expertise.

I had a patient in his late 60s who presented with recurrent heart attacks. Within a duration of 4 months, he had 3 heart attacks. He would experience chest pain while walking, almost every day. #readmore

A coronary angiogram was performed by another cardiologist during his first heart attack and this showed severe blockage in all 3 arteries with very high calcium deposits. He was rejected by the heart surgeon because his arteries were not suitable for bypass surgery. Other interventional cardiologists declined to perform angioplasty on him because of very high risks involved.

Eventually, I agreed to treat him because of his persistent symptoms and he was willing to accept the risk. Thankfully, I successfully treated his most important blockages with stenting. I had to use rotablation to drill through two of his heart arteries, done in separate procedures. His symptoms improved dramatically thereafter.

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Q: In what ways do you think your expertise can improve your patients’ lives?

Firstly, I hope that my patients stay alive! Many heart patients have life-threatening conditions. I hope that with the right medication, good advice and the appropriate interventions to their heart, I can help to prolong their lives. #readmore

Of course, I also hope that they have a good quality of life, so that they can live a fulfilling life. The treatments that I prescribe and perform are aimed at improving or eradicating my patient's symptoms, encouraging them to live as normal a life as possible and hopefully keep them living for a long time.

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