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About Heart & Vascular Institute - Texas Medical Center

A Facility Built on Decades of Innovative Heart Care

In 2008, Memorial Hermann celebrated the grand opening of the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, a state-of-the-art, 230,000 square-foot, eight-story facility situated at the gateway to the world-famous Texas Medical Center. Since then, it has grown to become one of the top heart and vascular programs in the country.

A Complete Continuum of Care

Before breaking ground on the Institute, Memorial Hermann-TMC administrators and affiliated physicians collaborated to create a shared vision for the program – to provide patients, including those with the most advanced, complex heart disease, with a complete, end-to-end continuum of care, in one place and with a strong focus on quality.

Fortunately, they had a solid foundation on which to build. The hospital’s aortic aneurysm mortality rate was one of the lowest in the country, and their door-to-balloon time, the time between when a patient enters the ER and the time a clogged vessel is opened, was also among the lowest.

A History of Excellence

The pioneering physicians and clinicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann-TMC have a solid track record of innovation, outstanding patient outcomes and exceptional patient care. To read more about our breakthroughs in Cardiovascular Medicine, click here.

  • Earned the Get with The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA)
  • Was named an accredited STEMI Receiving Center by the American Heart Association (AHA) and ACC Accreditation Services, an elite recognition given to facilities that provide excellent acute cardiac care
  • Received the AHA Mission: Lifeline Receiving Center Silver award for its STEMI protocols
  • Earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its ventricular assisted device (VAD) destination therapy program

Leader in Aortic Surgery

The Institute’s cardiothoracic and vascular surgery team is internationally renowned for aortic aneurism (AA) repair and reconstruction. The team is led by Hazim Safi, MD, the Institute’s Chief of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, and Anthony Estrera, MD, the Institute’s Medical Director of Cardiovascular ICU and Cardiovascular IMU.

The team at the Institute’s Aortic Center, which opened in 2011, was the first in the world to perform robotic reconstructive aortic surgery. They also pioneered a technique that reduced the traditional staged extensive aortic aneurysm (AA) repair to a single surgery, and pioneered minimally invasive AA repair, leading to reduced morbidity rates and shorter recovery times.

One of its greatest achievements, however, has been in the area of thoracoabdominal aneurysm (TAA) repair, an extreme surgery that historically carried an extremely high risk of paralysis. Surgical methods used by the team have reduced the incidence of paralysis in these patients from about 50 percent to less than 5 percent. The team at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-TMC is an International leader in this technique, attracting patients from all over the world.

Pioneers of Interventional Cardiology

HL-At RiskLong before the Institute opened its doors, affiliated interventional cardiologist Richard Smalling, MD, the Institute’s Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine, and his colleagues were making history, leading or participating in many new device and pharmaceutical trials evaluating optimal techniques for treating ST- Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) patients, supporting the circulation and performing coronary, peripheral and carotid stenting.

They were one of the first in the U.S. to perform percutaneous valve interventions, and the first in Houston to implant a commercial transcatheter heart valve (TAVR), allowing for replacement of a diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery. To date, the team has performed nearly 2,000 TAVR implants and is the leading TAVR program in the U.S.

Treating Complex Arrhythmias

In 2012, the Institute’s electrophysiology capabilities expanded with the introduction of the Complex Arrhythmia Center, led by Ramesh Hariharan, MD, offering a complete toolkit of heart rhythm treatments that includes medications, cardioversion, catheter radiofrequency ablation and implantable devices.

Completing the Vision: Advanced Heart Failure

The Institute’s Center for Advanced Heart Failure (CAHF) was founded in April 2012, currently led by Igor Gregoric, MD, Chief and Program Director of the Surgical division of the CAHF, and Biswajit Kar, MD, Chief of the Medical division of the CAHF. In November 2013, the CAHF opened a new, state-of-the-art 12,000-square-foot facility, where patients with advanced heart failure are treated by a dynamic, multidisciplinary team of highly skilled clinicians.

The team employs a comprehensive approach to cardiac disease management, treating patients with innovative structural heart procedures. We are one of the leading centers in the country at managing cardiogenic shock with complex circulatory support interventions. Additionally, the team specializes in heart failure prevention and treatment including mechanical circulatory support therapies, such as total artificial heart and left ventricular assist devices, to heart and lung transplantation. Our heart transplantation program has become one of the fastest-growing and most active in the country.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute - Texas Medical Center, our cardiologists, or treatment facilities please use our contact form here. Schedule an appointment with a Memorial Hermann Cardiologist online or by calling (713) 222-2273.