Border heart patients needing the battery changed in their pacemaker can now have the procedure done at the Albury hospital.
The pacemaker service at the new Albury Wodonga Health cardiac catheter lab has seen 24 patients for a pacemaker generator change in the past few months with patients praising the service for allowing them to have the short 30-minute procedure close to home.
Previously patients have had to travel to Melbourne and stay for two nights to get the procedure done.
St Vincent's Hospital cardiothoracic surgery director Andrew Newcomb said the service had been "a long time in the making".
"All of the patients have been rapt they haven't had to travel down the highway and arrange family to get down to have the procedure done," he said.
"This last lady we have just done rescues dogs so she would have had to arrange somebody to look after these animals as well so it has been very helpful.
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"It is vital for the region to have this service locally so you don't have to burden the whole system with having to transfer all these patients down there for what is a relatively a simple procedure."
Mr Newcomb said he has been coming to Albury to see patients for six years. "St Vincent's has been involved along the way and when the cath lab was opening I sort of put my hand up to help kick things off a little bit," he said.
"I am loving it, I drive up do the pacemakers, see the patient the next day and drive back.
"Some of my patients can't afford to travel down to Melbourne for the procedure so it is really vital for those people."
Lavington patient Mick Mankowsky had his first "battery change" on Monday and said the procedure was made a "lot less stressful" having it in Albury.
"My wife died 12 months ago and I would have had to get my son-in-law or daughter to take days off work and take me down to Melbourne," he said. "It costs a lot of money to do that petrol isn't cheap and then you have parking expenses and accommodation for them. This way I can be home to cook myself some dinner."
Pacemaker cardiologist Irene Stevenson will start doing the procedure alongside Mr Newcomb from the hospital in November and between them will provide one list every eight to 12 weeks.
The day procedure is done while the patient is awake, using only a local anesthetic.