Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first hospital in Fort Bend County to perform a successful implant of Barostim Baroreflex Activation Therapy™, an FDA-approved heart failure device to use neuromodulation. The device is implanted into the wall of the carotid artery, sending electrical pulses to special sensors in the heart that are responsible for transmitting blood pressure information to the brain.


The procedure took place at Houston Methodist Sugar Land and was performed by Dr. Uttam Tripathy, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon. The patient had a history of heart failure and difficulty with breathing and walking. Since receiving the implantable device, the patient is now able to walk to the park and attend games with his daughters.


Unlike other heart failure device therapies like pacemakers or defibrillators, Barostim does not require hardware in the heart or vasculature. It works by electrically stimulating baroreceptors – natural sensors located in the wall of the carotid artery – that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney and vascular function. These effects reduce the heart’s workload and help it pump more efficiently, helping to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system and improve the symptoms of heart failure. Barostim plus heart failure medications have been shown to improve exercise capacity, quality of life and help patients return to their daily activities.


 “The cardiology team at Houston Methodist Sugar Land is steadfast in our commitment to give our patients access to the latest cardiovascular innovations to treat heart failure,” said Tripathy. “This device allows us to provide more treatment options for patients who are already on medications for heart failure. We are excited to offer this treatment and to witness the improvements of our patients’ quality of life.” Since the first procedure, Tripathy has also completed a second successful Barostim implant. Both patients have an improved quality of life measurement from the heart failure standpoint.


Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Essentially, the heart can’t keep up with its workload. People with heart failure often experience shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in lower extremities, weakness and the reduced ability to perform physical activity. In the US, heart failure is estimated to affect 6.9 million adults and is expected to increase by 24% to nearly 8.5 million by 2030. Overall, heart failure is associated with a four-fold increased risk of death and six to nine times increased risk of sudden cardiac death.


Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is a nationally recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. The Heart & Vascular Center offers a variety of specialty clinics and programs to treat a wide spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease, adult congenital heart disease, heart tumors and valve disease. Building on the legacy created by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the center’s cardiologists and surgeons are worldwide leaders in clinical and scientific trials, innovation and education that benefits current and future physicians and patients.