Innovations at the Institute
The Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial City Medical Center strives to be on the forefront of heart care. We are proud of the exceptional care we provide to our patients each day.
Minimally Invasive Valve Replacements and Bypass Surgery
The board certified cardiovascular surgeons affiliated with the Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City specialize in minimally invasive heart valve replacements as well as specific cases of minimally invasive coronary artery bypass. This is a highly sought after skill set. Minimally invasive techniques reduce scarring, are less traumatic to the patient allowing them to recover faster and return to normal daily activity sooner.
Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery
Affiliated surgeons also specialize in surgery for heart valve disease and have successfully performed hundreds of operations involving the aortic, mitral and tricuspid valves. Their current rate of successful mitral valve repair is 95 percent. Mitral valve repair is preferable to replacement because of increased patient survival, freedom from reoperation and avoidance of the blood thinner Coumadin. In conjunction with valve surgery, the MAZE procedure is often performed to treat atrial fibrillation, a form of irregular heartbeat, which is highly associated with heart valve disease and stroke. In addition, the first aortic valve case in Memorial Hermann was performed at Memorial City using the new On-X valve (pending FDA approval), which eliminates the need for patients to take the drug Coumadin for the rest of their lives.
Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass
The surgical team at Memorial City performs approximately 60 percent of coronary artery bypass grafts off pump compared to a national average of 20 percent. Patients who undergo off-pump bypass have better outcomes, including lower mortality and morbidity rates.
The Institute is a leader in treating electrical problems of the heart. Advanced heart mapping technology allows electrophysiologists to pinpoint irregular electrical pathways to normalize irregular heartbeats. One of the procedures the physicians employ is atrial fibrillation ablation. This condition requires the patient to be on blood thinners putting them at risk for increased complications. With the recent tremendous advancements in this procedure, patients are able to have it and are usually able to leave the same day. Atrial fibrillation ablation eliminates the need for some of the medications which allows improves quality of life and longevity.
For arrhythmias caused by abnormal heart tissue, catheter radiofrequency ablation (heat) can be used to destroy the abnormal tissue. Catheters (thin, flexible tubes) are threaded through the patient's blood vessels to reach the abnormal heart tissue. The cardiologist then uses a small cutter or radiofrequency energy to remove the abnormal tissue. The procedure does not require open chest surgery. This procedure is done using a percutaneous technique (needle stick in the groin).
Myxoma Treatment with Mini-thoracotomy
Atrial myxoma is the most common benign tumor of the heart. Surgeons affiliated with the Heart & Vascular Institute remove the tumor with a procedure called mini-thoracotomy, a small incision into the chest through the space between two ribs. The advantages include rapid healing, minimal or no activity limitation, and a low risk of infection. The highly skilled surgeons affiliated with the Institute have performed numerous myxoma removals.
Heart Attack Network
The Institute launched the Heart Attack Network to help heart patients in rural areas receive lifesaving care. Partnering with interventional cardiologists, hospitals and emergency medical service organizations in rural counties throughout Southeast Texas, heart attack patients are flown via Memorial Hermann Life Flight® to the Institute for life-saving heart attack treatment and treatment for other emergency conditions - within the critical 90-minute window.
The American College of Cardiology ranks the Institute as one of the best in the nation with an average arrival at transferring facility to balloon angioplasty at Memorial City placing us in the top 19%.
Chest Pain Center/Door to Balloon Times
Accredited as a Cycle III Chest Pain Center with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention), the Institute is known for expert heart attack care. In heart care, time is muscle. The Institute's door to balloon times -- from patient arrival (door) to the start of treatment to restore blood flow (balloon) is well within the 90 minute window - and our compliance on that metric according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid at hospitalcompare.hhs.gov is at 100%.
In a heart catheterization, a cardiologist inserts a catheter, or small tube, through an artery and threads it up to the blood vessels of the heart. Doctors typically insert the catheter in the femoral artery, near the groin. The problem is that it takes a long time for the artery to heal. Now there's a relatively new technique called transradial catheterization. In this procedure, cardiologists reach the blood vessels through an artery in the wrist, instead of an artery in the leg. It's safer than the usual catheterization, can be more comfortable for patients, and offers a much faster recovery.
Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Device - Impella 2.5 and 5.0 Heart Pump
The Impella 2.5 and 5.0 ventricular assist device lets us treat patients who would otherwise have no options because they are too sick to undergo coronary interventions or traditional bypass surgery. As the tiniest pump on the market, the Impella 2.5 device is inserted once a patient gets to the cardiac cath lab. The devise supplements the heart's pumping action during high-risk procedures or in patients with severe heart inflammation who are failing traditional medical therapy. As a temporary bridge, Impella is inserted before and removed after high-risk procedures, such as stenting after a patient has already had multiple vascular bypasses and has a very weakened heart. Or, Impella can be left in place for up to about 10 days, giving a patient's heart time to grow stronger from complications resulting from serious heart conditions and injuries. The 5.0 is surgically implanted in patients that have left ventricular failure in the OR.
Peripheral Vascular Network
The Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City partners with a number of physicians in the community to diagnose and treat peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also called peripheral arterial disease, a form of atherosclerosis - the hardening and narrowing of the arteries caused by the gradual buildup of fatty deposits and other substances. A 15 minute skin perfusion test can be performed in the physician's office to determine if blood flow is restricted in an artery. Narrowing of the arteries caused by atherosclerosis can usually be treated by numerous minimally invasive procedures which are performed in our Heart & Vascular Institute.
US News & World Report Top Cardiologists
In August 2011, US News & World Report released their list of the top 1,000 cardiologists in the United States. Houston represented well, with 54 physicians on the list. Among those were four affiliated with the Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City:
Charles Caplan, M.D.
Jon Heine, M.D.
Stuart Jacobson, M.D.
Michael Mitschke, M.D.
U.S. News Top Doctors was developed in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., publisher of America's Top Doctors®. Physicians are chosen primarily based on a peer review process and patient feedback. Any licensed doctor in the country can make nominations at any time.
Hybrid Endovascular Lab
The Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City features a lab that supports integrated surgical and catheterization procedures. The hybrid lab is equipped with the lighting, sterile field, and anesthesia capabilities required for open-heart surgeries coupled with the sophisticated imaging technology to support the most advanced percutaneous cardiovascular interventions. Cardiovascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists are able to perform collaborative procedures on patients simultaneously, potentially reducing the need for multiple surgeries.
For more information, please call us at (713) CARDIAC
or (713) 227-3422.
Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute - Memorial City
921 Gessner Rd
Houston, Texas 77024
or (713) 227-3422
The Heart & Vascular Institute-Memorial City is located in the East Tower. Convenient, free parking is available in Garage Three.