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Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

News Archive

Archived heart news from the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

2013


Balloon pumps placed in a new way through the arm

Houston – 9/24/2013

A tweak in how a life-saving balloon pump is placed inside the aorta could help some heart failure patients survive long enough to get a heart transplant and improve outcomes.

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New Procedure Unclogs Leg Arteries in Unconventional Way

Houston – 9/15/2013

When unclogging a drain, plumbers insert a device from the top and guide it down to push through the grease, hair, or whatever is causing the blockage. Endovascular surgeons use the same technique when trying to open up the vessels of patients with peripheral artery disease, or PAD, a serious condition that develops when arteries in the legs become clogged.

See the full article on Texas Medical Center News Online



Surgery trainees in Houston for cardiovascular "bootcamp"

Houston – 8/23/2013

The fifth annual Cardiovascular Fellows' Bootcamp brought more than 150 cardiovascular trainees from across the United States to Houston earlier this week for hands-on training in and discussion of the latest advances and techniques in cardiovascular surgery and cardiovascular medicine.

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Houston Methodist surgeon: Option to blood thinners for atrial fibrilation patients

Houston – 7/29/2013

Dr. Basel Ramlawi, a Houston Methodist cardiothoracic surgeon, thinks he can prevent strokes in millions of people who have atrial fibrillation and require blood-thinning medicines to avert formation of life-threatening blood clots. Ramlawi soon will lead a national, Phase IV, multi-site clinical trial to prove the surgery's effectiveness.

See the full article on Chron.com


Acid reflux drug may cause heart disease

Houston – 7/10/2013

Drugs that help millions of people cope with acid reflux may also cause cardiovascular disease, report scientists from The Methodist Hospital and two other institutions in an upcoming issue of Circulation (now online). It is the first time researchers have shown how proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, might cause cardiovascular problems.

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A new valve helps adults with congenital heart disease

Houston – 6/24/2013

A new heart valve can be implanted in people suffering with adult congenital heart disease without open heart surgery. Many adult congenital heart patients have undergone multiple heart surgeries by the time they reach their 20s.

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Cardiovascular regenerative cell expert Cooke to join Methodist faculty

Houston – 3/4/2013

John P. Cooke, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned expert on the use of stem cells to repair blood vessels, has agreed to join The Methodist Hospital faculty as chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. He starts work July 1.

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Two LVAD Brothers

Two brothers with muscular dystrophy live with heart pumps that help keep them alive

Houston – 1/28/2013

Two LVAD Brothers: Two brothers with muscular dystrophy live with heart pumps that help keep them alive

Tyler Wertz, 18, and his 16-year old brother Austin Tucker, fight, tease, love and support each other like most brothers do. Unlike most brothers, however, they share the same uncertain future—both have heart assist devices keeping them alive while they struggle with a debilitating disease.

As young boys, Tyler and Austin were diagnosed with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that slowly weakens the arms and legs and damages the heart.

"Sometimes I'll be walking and I'll fall down for no reason," Tyler said. "It can be scary and embarrassing, but it's just something I have to deal with."

In 2010, Tyler's heart condition became so grave that doctors at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a battery-run device that assists the pumping of the heart, in an attempt to improve his quality of life. Austin received one in 2012.

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2012


A simpler way to predict heart failure

Houston – 11/07/2012

The most widely used models for predicting heart failure rely on a complex combination of lifestyle, demographic, and cardiovascular risk factor information.

But today Vijay Nambi, M.D., Ph.D., and Christie Ballantyne, M.D., of The Methodist Hospital Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and the Baylor College of Medicine presented new data that show two biomarkers can improve heart failure risk prediction as part of a simpler model. Their presentation was part of the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012 in Los Angeles.

See the full article



New endovascular graft gives hope to some aortic aneurysm patients

Houston – 10/10/2012

MDHVC can now offer a new kind of branched aortic graft to its patients.

The Zenith Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft can be implanted using minimally invasive techniques, meaning patients for whom open surgery is deemed risky have a new option at Methodist. The Zenith is produced by Cook Medical.

See the full article



MRI scans now safe for patients with pacemakers

Houston – 9/6/2012

Cardiologist Dr. Dipah Shah tells Christi Myers of KTRK Channel 13 how the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center can now re-program pacemakers and defibrillators allowing patients with these devices to obtain an MRI.

Watch video



The Methodist Hospital ranked No. 1 in Texas
U.S. News & World Report ranks three Methodist hospitals among the best

Houston – 7/17/2012

The Methodist Hospital ranked among the country's top hospitals in 13 specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 America's Best Hospitals issue, and was named the No. 1 hospital in Texas.

The Methodist Hospital ranked among the country's top hospitals in 13 specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 America's "Best Hospitals" issue, and was named the No. 1 hospital in Texas.

The Methodist Hospital also ranked No. 1 in the Houston area in the magazine's Best Metro Area Hospitals list. San Jacinto Methodist Hospital ranked No. 7 in the metro area and No. 12 in the state, and Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ranked No. 10 in the metro area and No. 37 in the state.

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Houston's Olympic torch bearer: William Zoghbi, M.D.

Houston – 7/9/2012

Houston's Olympic torch bearer: William Zoghbi, M.D.

The flame igniting the London 2012 Olympic Games was carried Monday, July 9th through Bicester, England, by William Zoghbi, M.D., Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center cardiologist and Weill Cornell Medical College professor of medicine. He was the only Houston resident invited to participate.

Zoghbi, who is president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and represents that group, was invited to participate by the Coca-Cola Company, a London 2012 sponsor.

See the full article



The latest heart news from the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

Pacemakers, Defibrillators, MRI - Scan now an option for millions with implanted devices used to control heartbeat

Houston – 5/1/2012

Patients with implanted devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators have typically been advised to avoid MRIs. Now by reprogramming the devices, these patients may be able to get the imaging test to detect a medical condition that otherwise might be missed.

A pacemaker or defibrillator is a small device implanted under the skin to control a person's heartbeat and prevent sudden cardiac death. MRIs contain a strong magnet that can cause these devices to overheat or malfunction.

See the full article



Could Starving the Heart Make It Resistant to Damage?

Houston – 4/9/2012

Heart cells starved of nutrients are less likely to be damaged during periods of decreased blood flow and sudden influxes of blood, known as ischemia and reperfusion, and are also less likely to get out of synch with their cellular neighbors, the damaging phenomenon called arrhythmia.

Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center scientists learned that starved heart cells maintain normal calcium cycling and basic mitochondrial function far longer than non-starved cells during periods of extreme stress.

See the full article



William Zoghbi, M.D., president of the ACC

Houston – 4/2/2012

The American College of Cardiology's annual Scientific Session is a prominent event on the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center's calendar, but this year's meeting was particularly notable.

William Zoghbi, M.D., was elected president and Miguel Quiñones was elected a Master of the ACC at a special event Monday, March 26, with 2,000 ACC members and supporters in attendance.

See the full article



MDHVC co-hosts international training and learning events for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular care

Houston – 3/12/2012

This year's Re-Evolution Summit and Total Endovascular Series attracted more than 250 of the world's top cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, fellows, and other specialists to learn about the best new practices in cardiovascular surgery and care. The conference began Thursday, March 8, and concluded Saturday.

See the full article



Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center implants its first Sapien valves

Houston – 2/20/2012

A multidisciplinary team of doctors at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center implanted the FDA-approved Edwards Sapien transcatheter heart valve into a 90-year-old businessman and 70-year-old woman recently, both too sick to have open heart surgery to treat their narrowed aortic valve. Methodist is one of a small group of centers approved in the country to perform this procedure.

The valves are hard to attain, as a Wall Street Journal article published last week reports Edwards has been selective about the hospitals and academic medical centers to which it will sell the devices.

See the full article



Train to "Save a Life" at mass CPR/AED training sessions this weekend

Houston – 2/6/12

Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, the Greater Houston Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Texas Arrhythmia Institute are offering Houston-area residents a chance to become certified in CPR/AED use for $10 on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.

See the full article



Nation's top two cardiology societies honor Methodist echocardiologist Quinoñes

Houston – 2/2/12

Miguel Quiñones, M.D., chair of cardiology at Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, will receive the Physician Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Echocardiography at the society's annual scientific sessions in June. He will also be named a Master of the American College of Cardiology at that group's annual meeting in March.

See the full article



MDHVC's Mahmarian takes over helm of nuclear cardiology society

Houston – 1/11/12

The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology's newest president, John Mahmarian, M.D., chief of Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center's Division of Nuclear Cardiology and CT Services, says he'd like to see continued improvements in the way doctors tailor diagnoses and treatments to specific patients' needs. Mahmarian's one-year term began last week.

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2011


New stent graft could allow repair of aneurysms involving both the aorta and renal arteries

Houston – 9/26/11

The Methodist Hospital has been chosen as a study site for a new type of stent graft device that is designed for the repair of certain types of aortic aneurysms near or involving the blood vessels that lead to the kidneys. The Ventana Fenestrated Stent Graft System is made by Endologix Inc., which is sponsoring both the feasibility and pivotal studies of the device.

See the full article



ACC President-Elect Zoghbi to address United Nations summit

Houston – 9/16/11

Cardiologist William Zoghbi, M.D., will address the United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases next week (Sept. 19 and 20) to argue that abating heart disease should be a target of the United Nations' eight Millennium Development Goals. Zoghbi is president-elect of the American College of Cardiology and the director of The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center's Cardiovascular Imaging Institute.

See the full article



San Jacinto Methodist Hospital now performing endovascular aortic aneurysm repair procedure

Baytown – 7/6/11

To more effectively repair aortic aneurysms San Jacinto Methodist Hospital is now performing an endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) procedure, under the direction of board-certified vascular surgeon Jacobo Nurko, M.D.

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Dr. Neal Kleiman provides expert comment in Health Technology Trends

Houston – 5/19/11

Dr. Neal Kleiman, medical director, cardiac catheterization laboratories, Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, provided expert comment in an article on next-generation coronary artery stents and balloons under development.

The article appears in the May 2011 issue of Health Technology Trends. This monthly publication is produced by ECRI Institute and covers healthcare technology, focusing on emerging medical technologies in cardiology, radiology, oncology, orthopedics and neurosciences.



Methodist co-sponsors first international Pumps & Pipes Conference

Houston – 4/25/11

Surgeons from The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center along with scientists and engineers from two of the nation's largest industries – medicine and energy will take part in the first international Pumps & Pipes symposia in Doha, Qatar on April 28 to explore the synergies in moving oil and pumping blood.

See the full article



Adding stem cells to common bypass surgery may reduce heart failure

Houston – 4/4/11

In a new research study under way at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, surgeons are adding a patient's own stem cells to the heart during cardiac bypass surgery. The goal of this research study is to determine whether the stem cell infusion will generate new blood vessels and improve heart function more than what is seen through bypass surgery alone.

See the full article



Methodist physicians replace diseased heart valve through small hole in the leg

Houston – 2/21/11

Physicians at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston implanted a new investigational heart valve in a patient through a small puncture hole in the leg.

Mr. Dale Wilber, 69 year old retiree from Arkansas, had the new valve implanted in Houston on Feb. 16, 2011. The disease restricted blood flow from his heart to his vital organs. This can weaken the heart over time and cause chest pain, fatigue and heart failure. By having a valve implanted through a small hole in the leg, he hopes to shorten his recovery time and prevent complications that sometimes occur after major heart surgery. Wilber is recovering comfortably in his hospital room, hoping to be on the road in his 40-foot motor home exploring the country with this wife soon.

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The Methodist Hospital chosen for percutaneous valve replacement study

Houston – 1/24/11

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center was chosen today as a site for a critical percutaneous heart valve study. As part of the research study, Methodist physicians will replace diseased cardiac valves through a single, tiny puncture hole in the research subject's groin.

"Using this new technique in the study, we will be able to replace severely calcified and damaged aortic valves without open heart surgery or removal of the original diseased valve," said Dr. Neal Kleiman, director of the catheterization labs at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and cardiology principal investigator for the trial. "This study is the only way individuals have access to this technique in the United States."

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2010


NIH grants $6.78 million to study progression of heart disease

Houston – 12/27/10

Researchers at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston were recently awarded a $6.78 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to extend a 23-year-old large-scale, community-based study of heart disease.

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Methodist to open national training center for treatment of cardiovascular disease

Houston – 12/15/10

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center has established a unique national training center for surgical and interventional treatments for cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of Americans.

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Mixing blood and oil: Conference tackles similar challenges from two major industries
Houston – 12/7/10

Scientists and engineers from two of the nation's largest industries — medicine and energy — came together for the fourth Pumps & Pipes symposia to explore the synergies in moving oil and pumping blood.

Much like moving oil through a pipeline, the heart must pump blood through the body. Both systems need clean, well-functioning pipes (or blood vessels), free of blockages or corrosion, to function efficiently. Both industries also are crucial to our nation’s economy and future.

See the full article


Cardiovascular surgeon presents at international petroleum operations conference in Norway
Houston – 10/6/10

Dr. Alan Lumsden, medical director Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, gave the opening address at the 6th International Conference on Integrated Operations in the Petroleum Industry (IO-10), held September 28-29, 2010. At the conference in Trondheim, Norway, he highlighted important synergies between petroleum engineering and cardiovascular disease.

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Multi-vessel cardiac bypass performed through small single incision
Houston – 9/14/10

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center perform multiple cardiac vessel bypasses through a single, small incision in the patient's side, reducing pain, recovery time and risk for infection.

Visit website at See the full article


Houston man first to go home with new LVAD
Houston – 8/17/10

Martin Tompkins’ heart was failing him—he could not walk three feet from his bed to the bathroom without feeling completely exhausted. However, after the 41-year-old received a new left ventricular assist device he’s going home with hope.

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Methodist surgeons train on the first FDA-approved total artificial heart for transplant patients
Houston – 8/4/10

A 13-member surgical team from the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center completed the first phase of training to implant a new total artificial heart designed to completely replace the heart’s function while the patient waits for a heart transplant. Methodist will be the first hospital in Texas to offer this total heart replacement.

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The Methodist Hospital opens country’s most advanced robotic operating room
Houston – 7/26/10

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center opened the country’s most advanced hybrid, robotic operating room. The new suite integrates advanced robotics, imaging and navigation with surgery to offer patients the least invasive and safest surgical and interventional treatments for cardiovascular disease.

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Surgeons at The Methodist Hospital show use of flexible robotics reduces trauma in vascular surgery
Houston – 7/22/10

Research conducted by surgeons from the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center shows that using robotics reduces blood vessel trauma during minimally invasive procedures to repair diseased arteries. Research results were presented at the Society for Vascular Surgery’s 2010 Vascular Annual Meeting in Boston.

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The Methodist Hospital only in U.S. to offer life-sustaining, portable heart/lung machine
Houston – 7/21/10

The Methodist Hospital is the first in the United States to use a portable heart/lung machine to move critically ill patients easily and safely to different areas of the hospital for medical tests or from outlying hospitals to the medical center for specialized treatment.

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Dr. Basil Ramlawi named to "40 Under 40" list by Houston Business Journal
Houston – 5/21/10

Dr. Basel Ramlawi, a cardiovascular surgeon in the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, was named by the Houston Business Journal as one of the city’s top 40 accomplished up-and-coming leaders in its "Forty Under Forty" awards.

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Simple ultrasound test improves diagnosis of heart disease
Houston – 4/6/10

New research shows that doing a simple ultrasound scan of the carotid artery significantly improves the prediction of heart disease, giving doctors a better clue of who is at high risk for a heart attack.

The new study, published in today’s Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), shows that approximately 23 percent of patients would be reclassified into a different risk group by adding information obtained from the noninvasive test and that risk prediction using this approach was more accurate.

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Simple, quick test can send patient safely home from ER after chest pain
Houston – 2/9/10

Researchers at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center have shown that a simple, inexpensive test can determine whether it is safe to send home a patient who comes to the emergency room with chest pain.

"It is imperative to accurately diagnose patients who come to the emergency department with chest pain," said Dr. John Mahmarian, cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and principal investigator of the study. "Unfortunately, diagnosing chest pain is often expensive and time-consuming. This new data could save millions of health care dollars and countless hours spent waiting on unnecessary tests."

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New procedure cuts arrhythmia, recovery time

2/3/2010 — A surgeon and an electrophysiologist in the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center last week worked together to perform a novel, minimally-invasive procedure to treat a common but dangerous arrhythmia in a 61-year-old lawyer from east Texas who has suffered from the condition for months. By combining their talents, the physicians could perform the procedure through two small incisions, rather than six, which is common for minimally-invasive approaches.

"We’re hoping that by combining the expertise of a surgeon with that of an electrophysiologist, we’ll make the treatment more effective, while also making it easier on the patient in terms of recovery time," said Dr. Basel Ramlawi, cardiac surgeon who performed the surgical portion of the hybrid procedure.

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FDA approves novel study of neurostimulation as treatment for heart disease
Houston – 2/01/10

The FDA recently approved the first study of neurostimulation as a treatment for heart failure, a chronic disease that affects nearly six million Americans and is the leading cause of hospitalization in America.

"Despite our best efforts to treat heart failure with current drugs, patients with advanced heart failure continue to deteriorate," said Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione, heart failure specialist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and principal investigator for the study. "There is an urgent need to improve treatment for these patients."

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Leading female cardiologist, Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, focuses on research and treatment of women with heart disease
Houston – 1/08/10

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death for American women. Nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer.

Dr. Karla Kurrelmeyer, a cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, focuses on research and treatment of women with heart disease. Kurrelmeyer is somewhat unique among practicing cardiologists, not only because her focus is on female heart health, but also because she is a woman. Less than 20 percent of cardiologists in the U.S. are women.

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Methodist named one of the "Top Hospitals for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery"
Houston – 1/08/10

The Methodist Hospital in Houston was recently named one of the "Top Hospitals for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery" by Worth magazine.

"This award is a major recognition for the physicians and staff of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. It is an honor that recognizes our dedication to providing excellent care for our patients," said Dr. Alan Lumsden, chair of the department of cardiovascular surgery at The Methodist Hospital and medical director of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

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The Methodist Hospital offers unique patient education program
Houston – 1/06/10

The Methodist Hospital is offering a web-based tool to help patients better understand their health care.

The interactive program from Emmi Solutions describes and illustrates upcoming procedures for patients to help educate them on procedures such as cardiac bypass or knee replacement. It also helps patients understand how to manage chronic conditions like diabetes or heart failure.

Read more

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2009


Methodist hosts multidisciplinary cardiovascular patient care summit for senior fellows
Houston – 12/21/09

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center would like invite senior fellows to participate in the inaugural program, "Optimizing Cardiovascular Patient Care through Innovative Collaboration", onFebruary 4 – 5, 2010, at the Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIESM) and Hotel ZaZa.

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Dr. William Zoghbi named vice president of the American College of Cardiology
Houston – 12/7/09

Dr. William Zoghbi, the William Winters Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging at The Methodist Hospital, was named vice president of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). His term will go into effect in March of 2010, and he is slated to become president of the ACC in 2011.

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Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub visits the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center
Houston – 11/5/09

Houston Texans Quarterback Matt Schaub and his wife Laurie toured the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center this week as part of the hospital’s Leadership Grand Rounds to learn about the inner-workings of the heart center.

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Freedom fighters convene to support Methodist heart center
Houston – 10/24/09

Leading figures from all three of those fronts — former Polish president and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson and former U.S. president George H.W. Bush — came together in Houston to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the crumbling of Communism, and to raise funds for heart disease research at The Methodist Hospital.

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Robot saves patient’s transplanted lung
Houston – 10/13/09

In a first-of-its-kind procedure, physicians at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center used a robotic catheter to save a patient’s transplanted lung.

Dr. Alan Lumsden, chair of the department of cardiovascular surgery at Methodist, and Dr. Miguel Valderrábano, chief of the division of cardiac electrophysiology, used a robotic catheter to place a stent in a patient’s pulmonary artery when it became severely narrowed after his transplant, potentially damaging the new lung.

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Internationally acclaimed minimally invasive vascular surgeon joins The Methodist Hospital in Houston
Houston – 8/3/09

Dr. Heitham Hassoun joined the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, bringing his expertise in minimally invasive vascular surgery to Houston.

Hassoun's expertise includes repairing aortic aneurysms, carotid stenosis and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) through small puncture holes rather than incisions, an approach called percutaneous treatment. Hassoun, who came to Methodist from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, also conducts basic and translational research supported with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

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Dr. Alan Lumsden named medical director of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center
Houston – 3/26/2009

Dr. Alan Lumsden was recently named medical director of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center at The Methodist Hospital.

“Lumsden’s vision for the heart center will build upon our many accomplishments,” said Dr. Miguel Quinones, chair of the Department of Cardiology at The Methodist Hospital and former medical director of the Center.

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Barbara Bush discharged from The Methodist Hospital
Houston – 3/13/2009

Former First Lady Barbara Bush was discharged from The Methodist Hospital, nine days after she underwent aortic valve replacement surgery.

Read more about Barbara Bush's recovery

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2008


Two biomarkers improve prediction of stroke risk
Houston, TX - 12/18/2008

Two common biomarkers have now been shown to improve the ability to predict who will suffer from a stroke. Results from new research conducted at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston were published in today’s online version of the journal Stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability. Accurate risk assessment is imperative because stroke is preventable with medical therapy and lifestyle changes.

See the full article


Using the Other Guy’s Toolkit: Similarities of Pumping Blood, Oil Examined
Houston, TX - 12/2/2008

Researchers from two of the nation’s largest industries – medicine and energy – will come together Dec. 8, 2008, to explore synergies in moving oil and pumping blood.

Much like moving oil through a pipeline, the heart must pump blood through the body. Both systems need clean, well-functioning pipes (or blood vessels), free of blockages or corrosion, to function with incredible efficiency. Both industries also are crucial to our nation’s economy and future.

See the full article


Heart valve surgery in elderly patients shows good outcomes
Houston, TX - 11/30/2008

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, cardiac surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, presented results of his research on aortic valve replacement in octogenarians at the American Heart Association conference in New Orleans in November. His study showed that patients over 80 had the same outcomes as patients much younger.

“It is great to see that aortic valve replacement remains a very good treatment option for patients with hardened aortic valves, even as they age into their 80s,” said Lawrie, who holds the Michael E. DeBakey Chair in Cardiac Surgery at Methodist and is director of the Heart Valve Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. “Aortic valves tend to become stenotic, or harden, as we age. Since valve replacement gives people such a higher quality of life, we want to be able to provide this safely, even as our population ages.”

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Surgeons inject concentrated stem cells directly into patient’s heart in new clinical trial
Houston, TX - 11/21/2008

Surgeons at The Methodist Hospital in Houston were the first in the nation Thursday to inject highly-concentrated stem cells directly into a patient’s heart, providing an intense, direct hit on damaged heart tissue.

In an investigational study of new heart failure treatments, this promising new technique may be more effective in regenerating healthy heart tissue than current methods that use a catheter to put standard stem cells through the bloodstream into the heart.

See the full article


Methodist begins novel stem cell trial for heart failure
Houston, TX - 10/17/2008

The Methodist Hospital in Houston is the first site in the nation to enroll patients in a new study that uses a patient’s own stem cells to treat heart failure.

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center will inject stem cells derived from a patient's own bone marrow directly into the beating heart to treat dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a severe form of chronic heart failure.

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Surgeons at The Methodist Hospital implant first third generation LVADs
Houston, TX - 8/29/2008

Surgeons at The Methodist Hospital in Houston this month became the first in the Southwestern United States to implant a third-generation heart pump, called a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD.

The new 3G heart pump, the first of its kind to be tested under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is expected to have extreme longevity, because it has no bearings or valves and contains just one moving part. Weighing less than a pound and measuring 2.5 inches in diameter, it is small and light enough to be safely implanted in both children and adults.

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Baylor, Methodist mourn death of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey
Houston, TX - 7/12/2008

On behalf of the entire Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital families, it is with profound sadness that we announce the death of pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. The college, the hospital, and indeed the entire world, have lost a great man today.

Dr. DeBakey died at 9:38 p.m. Friday, July 11 from natural causes at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.

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Dr. William Zoghbi named president of the American Society of Echocardiography
Houston, TX - 6/9/2008

Dr. William Zoghbi, director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Center at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, was elected president of the American Society of Echocardiography. He takes over the duties of leading the respected 14,000 member organization on June 9 in a ceremony in Toronto.

“We are honored to have such an outstanding national leader practicing at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center,” said Dr. Miguel Quinones, chair of the department of cardiology at The Methodist Hospital. “Dr. Zoghbi is so respected because he has driven the development of cardiac imaging to allow earlier detection and better management of heart disease. He’s also very devoted to his patients and to teaching -- he’s an exemplary physician and colleague, a true leader.”

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Heart experts give free seminar in Pearland on atrial fibrillation
Houston, TX - 5/21/2008

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is offering a free healthy knowledge seminar on treatments for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder. Atrial fibrillation, which affects 2.2 million Americans, puts patients at higher risk for stroke and blood clots. A cardiologist and a heart surgeon will discuss the disease and its treatment options and take questions. The chance of developing atrial fibrillation increases with age. Three to five percent of people over 65 have the disease. Free parking and refreshments will be offered.

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Mitral valve leak repaired through tiny puncture hole
Houston, TX - 5/12/2008

Physicians at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center at The Methodist Hospital in Houston now close certain types of leaky heart valves through a tiny puncture in the groin, using live 3D imaging for precise guidance. Methodist offers this combination treatment as an alternative to open heart surgery.

Drs. Sashi Guthikonda and Neal Kleiman, interventional cardiologists at Methodist, recently used a catheter to close a leak surrounding a 65 year old patient’s mitral valve, rather than exposing her to a potential 4th open heart surgery. The leak was causing such damage to her blood that she was constantly weak and needed multiple blood transfusions.

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Dr. Gerald Lawrie is awarded prestigious DeBakey Endowed Chair
Houston, TX - 5/12/2008

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, cardiothoracic surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, has received the Michael E. DeBakey Endowed Chair for cardiac surgery.

Lawrie, a pioneer in valvular surgery, invented a technique called the American Correction, with which he has a 100 percent success rate for repair of diseased mitral valves. In 2007, Lawrie was the first to use a surgical robot to successfully repair a mitral valve using this advanced technique.

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Methodist surgeon inaugurates cardiovascular surgery department in India
Houston, TX - 5/1/2008

Dr. Mahesh Ramchandani, deputy chair of cardiovascular surgery at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, inaugurated the cardiovascular surgery program at the K.S. Hegde Medical Academy in Mangalore, India, on Tuesday, April 29.

Dr. Ramchandani served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony in Mangalore. Dr. Alan Lumsden, chair of the department of cardiovascular surgery at The Methodist Hospital, also participated via videoconference from Houston. Lumsden addressed areas of potential collaboration between the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the K.S. Hegde Medical Academy. The two institutions are exploring the benefits of providing regular videoconferencing, student and faculty exchange visits and research collaboration.

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Dr. Michael DeBakey receives Congressional Gold Medal
Houston, TX - 4/23/2008

Pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress, April 23 in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

President George W. Bush presented the medal to DeBakey, 99, who was joined onstage by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and other dignitaries.

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Methodist first in Houston to use robot to treat irregular heart beats
Houston, TX - 3/18/2008

Dr. Miguel Valderrabano, cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, is the first in Houston to use a robotic catheter to treat irregular heart rhythms.

From a control panel across the room from the patient, Valderrabano uses a robotic handle similar to a joystick to maneuver tiny wires through the blood vessels and into the patient’s heart, where he can treat the heart’s abnormal electrical impulses called arrhythmias, with heat that stops the errant currents.

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World's newest drug-eluting stent implanted at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center
Houston, TX - 3/12/2008

A more flexible drug-eluting stent studied in clinical trials at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center has been approved by the FDA, and Methodist physicians were the first in Houston to implant the new device.

The design of the new stent, the first approved by the FDA in four years, allows it to be placed in hard to reach blockages .Research conducted at Methodist was pivotal in the Phase 3 trial that led to FDA approval of the stent.

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Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa has a bi-ventricular pacemaker defibrillator implanted
Houston, TX - 2/29/2008

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president Lech Walesa had a bi-ventricular pacemaker defibrillator successfully implanted Friday, Feb. 29, 2008, at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston. Dr. Miguel Valderrabano, chief of the division of cardiac electrophysiology at Methodist, implanted the device.

“The pacemaker defibrillator is designed to resynchronize the contractions of his heart and improve the function of his heart,” said Dr. Valderrabano. “We expect that the pacemaker, combined with the other treatments Mr. Walesa has received at Methodist this week, may lead to a very substantial improvement in how he feels, even to the point of normalization of his heart function. We hope that the treatment here will help him get back to his busy and productive life.”

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Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa undergoes tests for heart failure
Houston, TX - 2/27/2008

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president Lech Walesa is at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston this week undergoing tests for heart failure.

“We're doing everything we can to make sure Mr. Walesa doesn't need a transplant right away. We have high hopes that we will be able to restore function in his heart by other means, thereby relieving him of symptoms like chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Our goal, of course, is to prevent or postpone the need for transplant, and we have many tools at our disposal," said Dr. Guillermo Torre, heart failure specialist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and section chief of cardiac transplantation at Methodist.

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The Methodist Hospital names new Chair for Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Chief of Cardiac
Houston, TX - 2/21/2008

“Boundaries between cardiovascular surgery and cardiology are growing increasingly blurred,” Lumsden said. “Many conditions that used to be treated with large open surgeries are, fortunately, getting smaller and much easier on the patients. At the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, we are going to continue building on our legacy of innovation founded in the extraordinary work of Dr. Michael DeBakey, who invented many of the life-saving surgeries in practice today, and who continues to support change toward less invasive techniques.“

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Leading Medicine television special focuses on heart disease
Houston, TX - 1/25/2008

Leading Medicine television special on heart disease aired Saturday, January 26 at 7 p.m. on KHOU Channel 11. Doctors in the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center are featured leading medicine in the prevention of heart disease.

Utilizing the most advanced technologies, innovative research and dedication to patient care, physicians in the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center are treating the highest risk patients with some of the best outcomes.

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Modulating the immune system can help heal patients with heart failure
Houston, TX - 1/18/2008

Modifying the immune system of a patient with heart failure reduces the patient’s risk of death and the need for hospitalization, according to research published in today’s edition of The Lancet.

“Immune modulation therapy could provide physicians with a new way of treating large numbers of patients with heart failure,” said Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione, principal investigator of the study and cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston.

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2007


Women's Heart Health Holiday Q and A
Houston, TX - 12/13/2007

Heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer for women, and December and January are the deadliest months of the year for heart disease.

The well-known heart attack symptoms – acute pain, tightness, burning and a dull ache in the chest – describe what men typically experience during an attack. For many women the signs of a heart attack are completely different and can go unrecognized. Especially during the holidays, women tend to ignore signs of heart attack, thus increasing the likelihood of tragic consequences. With heightened attention to the facts about symptoms and treatments, much of this can be prevented.

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Pumps & Pipes - Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, ExxonMobil, UH team to explore shared technologies
Houston, TX - 11/12/2007

Much like moving oil through a pipeline, the heart must pump blood through the body. In a collaborative effort between Houston’s largest industries, an event bringing together petroleum, medical and imaging experts will explore potential crossover ideas and extract shared technologies useful to each industry.

The Pumps & Pipes conference, sponsored by the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, ExxonMobil and the University of Houston, will be held at University of Houston campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 12, 2007.

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President Bush signs bill, awarding Dr. Michael DeBakey Congressional Gold Medal
Houston, TX - 10/16/2007

Dr. Michael E. DeBakey was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal Tuesday, the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress, for his lifetime of medical achievement and public service.

President George Bush finalized the award today by signing a bill approved in recent weeks by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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Methodist employs simulation technology to improve patient safety
Houston, TX - 10/9/2007

Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) is proud to announce that it is partnering with the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston to provide simulated education services. MSC’s SimSuite® will help Methodist cardiologists and surgeons improve patient safety by enabling them to learn, practice and update surgical and interventional skills in a simulated, risk-free environment.

Physicians can use this simulation technology to practice coronary, carotid, renal, iliac and femoral interventions. In the future it is anticipated that most catheter based interventions will be simulated.

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Reversal of blood flow to the head may protect against stroke during carotid stenting
Houston, TX - 10/1/2007

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center have begun a new trial that will seek to protect patients from stroke by reversing blood flow in the brain during carotid stenting.

“By reversing blood flow in the brain, we hope to prevent small particles from reaching the brain and causing a stroke or problems with speech, memory or pain,” said Dr. Imran Mohuiddin, principal investigator and vascular surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center.

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Dr. Michael E. DeBakey one step closer to the Congressional Medal
Houston, TX - 9/17/2007

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to award Dr. Michael E. DeBakey the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest civilian honor, for a lifetime of medical achievement and public service.

A similar bill previously passed the Senate and a final version reconciling the House and Senate bills will soon be sent to President Bush to sign into law.

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New vibrating catheter pulverizes plaque in clogged arteries
Houston, TX - 9/12/2007

A new vibrating catheter breaks through clogged arteries like a jackhammer, obliterating total blockages in patients with dangerous chronic total occlusions (CTOs). CTOs develop over time as plaque build-up thickens on the arterial walls, ultimately closing off the artery and preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the patient’s leg or foot. This condition left untreated leads to limb amputation.

“These blockages are notoriously difficult to treat without surgery,” said Dr. Imran Mohuiddin, vascular surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston. “This new device gives our patients an effective, minimally-invasive solution that can keep them out of the operating room.”

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The Methodist Hospital among first in U.S. to implant minimally-invasive coated vascular stent graft
Houston, TX - 9/10/2007

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston were among the first in the U.S. to implant a new, less-invasive stent graft designed to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients treated for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects as many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50.

The new graft, approved for use in the U.S. this month, is the first vascular stent graft available in the U.S. that has a blood-thinner bonded to its surface to prevent clotting long-term. It is also the only device of its kind to be implanted via a minimally-invasive, catheter-based procedure rather than requiring open surgery.

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Popular statins go head to head in new cholesterol trial
Houston, TX - 9/4/2007

A new trial at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center will provide a head-to-head competition between two popular statin therapies to see which does a better job at lowering the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-C) in patients’ blood.

“High cholesterol leads to heart disease and stroke, two of our nation’s top killers,” said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, international principal investigator for the trial and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston. “This trial will help us determine which widely prescribed statins medication has the greatest cholesterol-lowering benefits for our patients.”

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First advanced valve repair using a surgical robot performed at Methodist
Houston, TX - 8/16/2007

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, a cardiothoracic surgeon with the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, is the first to use a surgical robot to successfully repair a mitral valve using an advanced technique of repair called the “American Correction.”

On Aug. 14 at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Lawrie used the FDA-approved daVinci robot to repair the mitral valve of a 62-year-old man. Standard surgeries for this repair involve opening the chest and a subsequent long recovery for patients. With the minimally invasive technique, patients suffer fewer complications and return to their normal lives much quicker, Lawrie said.

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Novel study examines role of obesity and diabetes in heart disease
Houston, TX - 6/28/2007

A $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help researchers at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center identify how weight loss and lifestyle changes affect the risk for heart disease in obese and diabetic patients, a rapidly-growing group in America.

Although diet, exercise and weight loss are recommended by many national organizations, no clinical trials have shown a significant reduction in cardiovascular events due specifically to weight loss.

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The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center receives American Heart Association achievement award
Houston, TX - 6/28/2007

The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center is the first hospital in Texas to receive the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Coronary Artery Disease (GWTG-CAD) Sustained Performance Achievement Award, the organization’s highest level of GWTG recognition. The award recognizes Methodist’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of cardiac care that improves treatment of patients hospitalized with coronary artery disease.

To receive the award, Methodist consistently complied for 24 or more months with the requirements in the GWTG–CAD program. Under the GWTG–CAD program, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers in the hospital and receive smoking cessation and weight management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged. Hospitals that receive the award have demonstrated that during 24 or more consecutive months at least 85 percent of its eligible coronary patients (without contraindications) are discharged following the American Heart Association’s recommended treatments.

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Houston Texans give Methodist DeBakey Heart Center $30,000 grant for heart disease research
Houston, TX - 6/14/2007

The Houston Texans this week gave the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center a $30,000 research grant, the third annual gift the NFL team has made to Methodist in support of heart disease research, bringing total donations from the Texans to $135,000.

“Methodist is an outstanding community partner,” said Texans owner Bob McNair at the check presentation ceremony held in front of the Methodist Training Center at Reliant Park. “We are honored to team with them by supporting such a high standard of research.” McNair presented the check with Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.

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Methodist heart and transplant surgeon speaks at National Science Foundation lecture series
Houston, TX - 5/22/2007

Dr. George Noon, cardiac and transplant surgeon at The Methodist Hospital, spoke at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, DC recently as part of the Engineering Distinguished Lecture series.

The lecture series was established by the NSF to initiate cross-fertilization of ideas among NSF staff and top research communities around the world, specifically highlighting important engineering concepts and accomplishments.

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New research highlights adverse outcomes associated with unapproved uses of drug-coated stents
Houston, TX - 5/8/2007

Research led by a team at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center sheds light on what happens to high-risk patients who receive drug-coated stents off-label to open clogged arteries, as reported in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

“Our research provides a snapshot of common clinical practice and demonstrates a higher rate of major adverse cardiac events, such as heart attack and need for a repeat procedure, in patients who fall outside the parameters of the FDA’s original approval for use of drug-eluting stents,” said Dr. Neal Kleiman, interventional cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and national co-principal investigator of the 42-center stent registry. “We need to be cautious about predicting benefits to high-risk patients based on research conducted on low-risk patients.”

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First open-heart surgery performed in Fort Bend County
Sugar Land, TX - 5/3/2007

A 53-year-old Richmond grandfather underwent heart valve replacement and by-pass surgery at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital last week, becoming the first patient to undergo open heart surgery in Fort Bend County.

The patient was released from Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Wednesday after making a routine recovery.

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Invitation to the Kenny Houston Hall of Fame Dinner on April 12th
Houston, TX - 3/29/2007

Many former professional athletes will join the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Houston Texans Foundation on April 12 for the Kenny Houston Hall of Fame Dinner in the fight against heart disease.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, and former professional athletes can find themselves at an increased risk once they retire from a life of training.

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Heart surgeon and a hero in his native country seeks political office
Houston, TX - 3/26/2007

For more than three decades Houston heart surgeon Dr. Rafael Espada has mended the hearts of his fellow Guatemalans for free. His countrymen have made him a national hero – now he is hoping they make him their vice president.

Espada, a cardiovascular surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center at The Methodist Hospital, is giving up his U.S. practice to seek the office of vice president in his native country. He is the running mate of candidate Alvaro Colom in Guatemala’s September presidential election.

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Methodist announces inpatient tower expansion
Houston, TX - 2/19/2007

The Methodist Hospital System announced today plans for one of the Texas Medical Center’s largest building expansions ever for inpatient services.

The new North Campus, which will be located at the corner of John Freeman Blvd. and Bertner Ave., will include up to 700 beds in potentially 1.5 million square feet of space for inpatient care. The beds will ultimately provide for the replacement of older facilities and eventual hospital growth.

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2006


The Methodist Hospital among first in U.S. to implant device designed to prevent blood clots in vascular grafts
Houston, TX - 12/8/2006

Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston were among the first in the U.S. to implant a new vascular graft engineered to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients treated for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects as many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50.

The new Gore graft, approved for use in the U.S. in November, is the first vascular graft available in the U.S. that has a blood-thinner bonded to its surface to prevent clotting long-term. It is part of an emerging class of products that combine mechanical and biological elements to address severe atherosclerosis.

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Deep vein thrombosis can block holiday fun
Houston, TX - 11/15/2006

When traveling long distances this holiday season, take heed of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis, a condition that can result in stroke, organ damage, or even death.

DVT is a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins of the lower legs and thighs. Sitting for long periods of time, either in an airplane or a car, can limit circulation in the legs, leading to a blood clot forming in a vein. The clot can travel unnoticed through the blood stream, and lodge in the brain, lungs, heart or other areas causing severe damage to organs, and in some cases, death. The good news is that there are easy ways to avoid the problem.

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Statin therapy greatly reduces harmful inflammation and cholesterol
Houston, TX - 8/30/2006

Research conducted at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston shows that a combination statin therapy already proven to lower bad cholesterol by a dramatic 70 percent, now has the added benefit of reducing life-threatening inflammation that can lead to heart disease.

The new results show 46 percent reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation, in patients treated with 40 mg of rosuvastatin and 10 mg ezetimibe.

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New heart failure working group pulls expertise from across globe
Houston, TX - 8/14/2006

Methodist DeBakey Heart Center cardiologist Guillermo Torre-Amione and cardiologist Gadi Cotter, from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., have pulled together more than 30 international heart failure experts to try to solve this serious cardiac problem.

“Our purpose is to be a ‘working’ group to encourage intellectual and interactive collaboration and to continually improve upon the planning and performance of clinical trials,” Torre said. “Heart failure affects 4.8 million people in the U.S. alone, with 400,000 new cases reported annually. We want to get the best minds together to solve this problem, reduce the burden of this illness, and provide better treatments for patients with heart failure.”

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The Methodist Hospital receives American Heart Association achievement award
Houston, TX - 7/19/2006

The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center received a performance achievement award from the American Heart Association (AHA) today for excellence in treating coronary artery disease. Methodist is the only hospital in Houston to receive this honor.

“Adherence to simple preventative guidelines established by the American Heart Association can save a significant number of lives per year,” said Christie Ballantyne, M.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. “The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center is well above the national average in implementing the life-saving treatments outlined by the AHA. We hope to be a model that others will follow.”
Under the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Coronary Artery Disease program, patients are started on aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, and receive smoking cessation and weight management counseling and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation before they are discharged from the hospital.

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Dr. William Zoghbi elected vice president of the American Society of Echocardiography
Houston, TX - 6/30/2006

William Zoghbi, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and William Winters Chair in Cardiovascular Imaging at Methodist, was elected vice president of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) at the society’s annual sessions in June.
In 2007, Dr. Zoghbi will be named president-elect, and he will be inducted as ASE president in 2008. The ASE is the largest sub-specialty society in cardiology, with more than 10,000 national and international members. Dr. Zoghbi currently also serves as treasurer of the American College of Cardiology.

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New research at Methodist shows biggest reduction in bad cholesterol ever achieved in a clinical trial
Houston, TX - 6/18/2006

Research conducted at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston shows a 70 percent reduction in LDL-c, or bad cholesterol, using a combination therapy of two statin drugs. This is the largest reduction in bad cholesterol ever seen in a statin clinical trial.

The EXPLORER trial, which studied the use of rosuvastatin (Crestor™) and ezetimibe together, can help even the most difficult to treat patients achieve optimal cholesterol targets, said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston.

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Methodist DeBakey Heart Center nurse to present findings at national vascular meetings
Houston, TX - 4/19/2006

A vascular imaging nurse at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center will present at the national meetings for the Society for Vascular Ultrasound and the Society of Vascular Surgeons in Philadelphia from June 1 to 3.

The first presentation describes a unique, multi-disciplinary case involving vascular surgery and pathology, based upon results from the peripheral vascular lab, which is part of the Cardiovascular Imaging Center at Methodist.

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Methodist DeBakey Heart Center researchers present at American College of Cardiology Scientific Session
Houston, TX - 3/8/2006

Research and expertise from Methodist DeBakey Heart Center (MDHC) cardiologists will be highlighted in more than 25 talks at the 2006 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, one of cardiology’s biggest conferences of the year.

Topics range from advanced cardiac diagnostic imaging to novel therapies for heart failure to new treatments for conditions such as ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease, among others.

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Methodist cardiologist named vice-president of Inter-American
Houston, TX - 2/14/2006

Dr. Miguel Quinones, chairman of the department of cardiology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston and medical director of the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, has been appointed vice president of the Inter-American Society of Cardiology.

He will represent the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology in this new role to promote dialogue among cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and scientists and to maintain cooperation and promote the interchange of information with the international, regional and national societies of cardiology in the Americas.

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2005


Doctors perform world’s first multi-organ transplant on LVAD patient
Houston, TX - 8/5/2005

A 42-year-old Houston oilrig worker became the world’s first heart assist device patient to undergo a multi-organ transplant Wednesday, replacing organs damaged by a rare blood disease.

Garry Davis, who was kept alive for two months with an artificial heart pump, is in good condition and talking with family and friends at The Methodist Hospital after undergoing a 12-hour transplant surgery to replace his heart and liver.

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FDA approves first blood test to predict risk for stroke
Houston, TX - 6/17/2005

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Research linking obesity and asthma shows weight reduction may provide therapy for asthma sufferers
Houston, TX - 6/11/2005

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New imaging technology at The Methodist Hospital helps surgeons perfect coronary bypass procedures
Houston, TX - 5/31/2005

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See it on KHOU Channel 11? Find information on heart health and weight loss
Houston, TX - 4/20/2005

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New surgical procedure for common heart problem now available in Houston
Houston, TX - 2/28/2005

“The benefits of permanently fixing atrial fibrillation are worth the having the surgery, even if the patient has no other existing heart problems,” he said.

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A 30-minute heart evaluation can help save your life
Houston, TX - 2/23/2005

Many people have symptoms of heart problems but don't recognize the warning signs. You could be at serious risk for a heart attack and not even know it.

But a simple 30-minute heart health evaluation offered by The Methodist Hospital's Wellness Services may help save your life as one local TV anchor and three Houstonians found out.

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Study says Implantable defibrillators save lives in many people with heart failure
Houston, TX - 1/19/2005

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2004


New drug may increase survival rate for major heart attacks
Houston, TX - 8/24/2004

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A simple blood test can predict your risk of having a stroke
Houston, TX - 5/12/2004

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Magnet-guided catheter system enables physicians to treat more conditions without surgery
Houston, TX - 1/19/2004

A new magnet-guided catheter system designed to improve common cardiac procedures, such as stenting blocked arteries, placement of certain pacemakers and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms, is now available to patients at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. This technology is the first of its kind in Houston.

Under the guidance of a physician, the technology uses a magnetic field to guide catheters through the arteries, making less-invasive treatment available to more patients. The magnetic force helps steer the catheter through the complex coronary system toward the affected or blocked area. The traditional method of manually twisting, turning and pushing the catheter through the arteries makes it harder to steer the catheter as it gets farther from the point of entry in the artery. The new technology is designed to facilitate the ease and accuracy of cardiac procedures,making treatment safer and enabling some patients to avoid surgery.

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2003


Peripheral Arterial Disease Conference Presented by the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center
Houston, TX - 11/12/2003

The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center is presenting a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) summit for physicians on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003. This half-day summit will focus on new concepts and therapies for PAD, a disease that affects approximately 10 million people in the United States, or close to 5 percent of people over 50.

PAD is a disease in which fatty deposits build up in arteries and limit circulation to the legs. People with PAD have a higher risk of death from stroke and heart attack, due to the risk of blood clots.

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New clinical trial under way for thoracic aortic aneurysms may be less painful and speed recovery time
Houston, TX - 10/13/2003

A clinical trial is under way at The Methodist Hospital to study the use of stent grafts to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms, now treated surgically with a large 24-inch incision across the chest and abdomen.

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New aneurysm procedure less invasive, speeds recovery
Houston, TX - 10/10/2003

A clinical trial is under way at The Methodist Hospital to study the use of stent grafts to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms, now treated surgically with a large 24-inch incision across the chest and abdomen.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a life-threatening condition that develops in the chest portion of the aorta, which is the main blood vessel of the heart. When that area weakens, it allows the pressure within the artery to push outward, creating a bulge that could rupture. As many as 78 percent of untreated patients with a TAA dies within five years, usually from a rupture. TAAs are much less common than abdominal aortic aneurysms, but are being diagnosed much more frequently than in the past.

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Methodist provides patients with cutting-edge medical device technology
Houston, TX - 8/15/2003

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The Methodist Hospital is ranked among the country's top centers in 10 specialties
Houston, TX - 7/17/2003

Magazine's Cover Story Features Methodist's Nursing Program

The Methodist Hospital is ranked among the country’s top centers in 10 specialties in today’s U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals issue. Only one other hospital in the state has this many rankings. The cover of the national magazine also spotlights the outstanding nursing program at Methodist.

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Methodist Willowbrook Hospital to add Cardiac Catheterization Lab, beds
Houston, TX - 7/2/2003

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New cholesterol drug paired with statin lowers cholesterol
Houston, TX - 4/29/2003

Combining a new drug that impairs cholesterol absorption in the gut with a drug that impedes cholesterol production in the liver may deliver a one-two punch to lower bad cholesterol, researchers report in today??s rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Combining the cholesterol absorption-blocking drug ezetimibe and the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin was significantly more effective at reducing concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL)...

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2002


First all African-American cholesterol lowering trial in U.S. at Methodist
Houston, TX - 5/8/2002

The nation’s first all African-American trial studying cholesterol lowering therapy is now underway at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine, in an effort to discover how effective these drugs are in this high risk ethnic group.

More African-Americans die from heart disease than any other ethnic group in the United States but there has been no significant research that has determined why.

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2001


Change in leadership
Houston, TX - 9/28/2001

Methodist Health Care System announced today that Peter W. Butler is stepping down as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1.

A committee of the Board has been appointed to oversee a national search to identify a new leader for the institution that will commence immediately. Ronald G. Girotto has been named on an interim basis Acting President and Chief Executive Officer.

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