In year 2018, the National Heart Centre Singapore celebrates two decades of excellence in Cardiovascular Medicine. We have gone from strength to strength, pioneering many firsts, and in collaboration with local and international partners, been a part of several groundbreaking discoveries. Our milestones have showcased our dedication to medical advancement, together we celebrate our 20 Years – journeying as one heart.


National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) opening 1999

  • Performed first biventricular pacing (for symptomatic relief in patients with moderate to severe heart failure on maximum medical therapy) procedure
  • National Heart Centre Singapore became autonomous



  • Jointly offered first Diploma in Biomedical Sciences (Cardiac Technology) offered in Singapore and Asia, with Singapore Polytechnic
  • Did first lung transplant with Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre Singapore



  • Established first mechanical heart device programme 
  • Performed first left ventricular assist device implantation in


  • Performed first left ventricular reconstructive surgery
  • Established Singapore’s first heart failure programme
  • Performed first percutaneous lead extraction in Singapore using the electrosurgical dissection sheath system
  • Did the first left ventricular assist device explantation in Singapore and Southeast Asia


  • Developed first Specialist Diploma in Cardiac Technology with Singapore Polytechnic in Singapore and Asia
  • Established Adult Congenital Heart Disease Programme (ACHD)
  • Performed first bipolar radiofrequency ablation in Asia


  • First heart hospital outside USA and in Asia to be accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI)
  • Performed first robotic-assisted excision of mediastinal tumour on an 18-year-old male patient using da Vinci surgical system


  • Performed Singapore and Asia’s first pulmonary vein isolation/ Maze procedure using the EPICOR Cardiac Ablation system 
  • Established Robotic Assisted Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (RAMICS) Programme 


  • Established Singapore’s First Homograft Bank 


  • Performed Asia’s first percutaneous closure of the left atrial appendage using the Watchman device
  • First robotic hybrid operating theatre in Southeast Asia
  • Introduced Southeast Asia’s magnetic navigation system for complex arrhythmias, first in Southeast Asia
  • Performed Singapore’s first Heart Mate II implantation
  • Successfully performed Asia’s first combined heart and liver transplant with SGH Performed Asia’s first percutaneous aortic valve replacement


  • First robotic-assisted lobectomy in Southeast Asia
  • EuroPCR partnered SingLIVE to launch inaugural AsiaPCR-SingLIVE


  • Successfully created beating heart cells from patient’s skin
  • Successfully performed Asia’s first MitraClip procedure for patients with heart valve problems
  • Introduced Asia’s first Aquaphereis for heart failure patients with fluid overload


  • Implanted Singapore’s first third generation heart pump, the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, for advanced heart failure patients
  • Set up Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Programme
  • Developed world’s first arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy human heart cell model to study inherited heart muscle disease associated with Sudden Cardiac Death Performed Asia’s first successful transapical transcatheter mitral valve-in-valve implantation


  • Successfully and completely reversed the effects of a gene mutation in long QT syndrome 2 in patientspecific heart cells, a world’s first


  • Official opening of the NHCS new building by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
  • Official launch of the National Heart Research Institute Singapore by President Tony Tan
  • Performed Singapore’s first Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator procedure to prevent Sudden Cardiac Death 


  • Partnered with American College of Cardiology partners to create world’s first global diabetes registry
  • Official opening of SAF Cardiac Fitness Centre at NHCS 


  • Jointly developed cardiac gene sequencing panel with Imperial College London to test 174 genes in 17 inherited cardiac conditions
  • Opening of Women’s Heart Clinic
  • Led multinational study which discovered the gene mutations in Titin affect the heart function


  • Collaboration with SingHealth Polyclinics on front-loading and open access protocol that helps patients cut one visit and get a faster diagnosis 

This article is from Murmurs Issue 32 (Sep – Dec 2018). Click here to read the full issue.