Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

History of the Heart Center

1950-1970 | 1971-2000 | 2001-present

Since Dr. Michael E. DeBakey joined the Methodist staff in 1948, the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center has stood at the forefront of exceptional care for heart patients and groundbreaking cardiology research to advance the field of cardiovascular medicine.


The first successful removal of a blockage of the carotid artery, performed by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, establishes the field of surgical treatment of stroke.


Using his wife’s sewing machine, Dr. DeBakey invents the Dacron graft.


The first aortocoronary artery bypass is performed by Dr. DeBakey.


The first multiple-organ transplant of a heart, one lung, and both kidneys from one donor to four recipients is directed by Dr. DeBakey.


The first angioplasty is performed at Methodist, one of the first institutions to perform this procedure.

The first rotational atherectomy utilizing a diamond-tipped file to wear down plaque built up in an artery is performed by Dr. Nadim Zaca, Dr. Albert Raizner, and Dr. George Noon.


Methodist physicians are among the first to treat heart attack patients by administering clot-dissolving drugs directly into the coronary artery.


Physicians perform the first heart-lung transplant in Texas at The Methodist Hospital.

Methodist is one of the three institutions to simultaneously discover that radiation immediately following an angioplasty will dramatically reduce restenosis, a re-narrowing of the artery. Methodist becomes the first to test this procedure in patients.


The Methodist Hospital is recognized as the first Medicare-designated heart transplant center in Texas and one of the first seven in the country.


The second implantation of a stent in the United States to reinforce artery walls during angioplasty is performed by Dr. Albert Raizner, Dr. Steve Minor, and Dr. Neil Kleiman.


The first patient is treated with the alcohol ablation procedure by Dr. William Spencer to intentionally cause a mild heart attack, reducing the enlarged muscle between the heart’s pumping chambers.


The first successful autotransplant for cardiac malignancy is performed by Dr. Michael Reardon.


The first patient the United States is implanted with the MicroMed DeBakey Ventricular Assist Device.

Dr. Joseph Coselli performs his 1,600th thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair procedure—more than any other surgeon in the world.


The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center officially opens.

Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione treats first patient with IMT (Immune Modulation Therapy); this initial clinical trial leads to European approval.


One of the nation’s first stereotactic cardiac catheterization labs opens in the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center under the supervision of Dr. Neal Kleiman.

Studies conducted at Methodist lead to FDA approval of the country’s newest cholesterol-lowering drugs.


Dr. Mattias Loebe performs the nation’s first percutaneous implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

MDHVC begins publishing the Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal, a peer reviewed quarterly publication.


The first hybrid procedure in the United States is performed at Methodist by Drs. Alan Lumsden and Michael Reardon. The hybrid procedure is used to repair a large aneurysm of the aortic arch. It combines a catheter stent with surgical intervention, and requires deep hypothermia to stop the heart and the cool the body to very low temperatures.

Methodist becomes the first hospital in Texas to be recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association in their "Get With the Guidelines" program, measuring and identifying hospitals that meet high quality measures for treating heart disease.


Dr. Gerald Lawrie of the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center performs an "American Correction" mitral valve repair using a surgical robot—a world first.


The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center begins groundbreaking stem cell research for treating cardiac and vascular diseases.

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center hosts Pumps & Pipes, a unique conference for Houston’s two largest industries—medicine and energy—and designed to cultivate unique research opportunities.

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center teams with the Houston Texans and the American Red Cross to train thousands of Houstonians in CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) use.

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is one of the first to repair a leak surrounding a patient’s mitral valve through a small puncture hole in the groin.


The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center opens a new multidisciplinary valve clinic for patients with complex cardiac valve disease.


The heart center opens a new multidisciplinary aortic network dedicated to patients across Houston with aortic disease.


The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is ranked No. 19 in the country in the U.S. News & World Report annual Best Hospitals issue.

The heart centers launches first-of-its-kind national center for comprehensive continuing medical education in cardiovascular and vascular disease: the DeBakey Institute for Cardiovascular Education and Training (DICET).

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