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Heart & Vascular Services

Services »Program Highlights »Medical Director »

 

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital is part of the Memorial Hermann Health System, one of the world’s largest providers of cardiovascular care, treating more than 200,000 patients a year. Our team of affiliated cardiologists, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, clinicians, researchers and educators are developing and perfecting innovative techniques that continue to put Memorial Hermann at the forefront of advancing heart health in Houston.

Awards and Recognition

American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Silver Receiving Plus Quality Achievement Award

The American Heart Association has awarded it the Mission: Lifeline® STEMI Silver Receiving Plus Quality Achievement Award (“Receiving Award”) to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. The Receiving Awards are given to hospitals that implement specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Learn More about the New Cardiovascular Surgery Program at Memorial Hermann Southeast

 

Heart and Vascular Physician Network

The affiliated specialists who are part of the Memorial Hermann Physician Network at Memorial Hermann Southeast share a commitment to uphold the highest possible standards of practice. The team of cardiologists, electrophysiologists, vascular surgeons and clinicians creates a patient-specific medical plan for each patient, offering a combination of established treatments along with exciting innovations in cardiac care.

To find affiliated specialists, visit heart.memorialhermann.org.

Services

Preventive Care

It all starts with preventive care. Specially-trained physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital can assess your risk for heart and vascular disease, prescribe lifestyle modifications and/or medication, perform noninvasive and invasive diagnostic tests, such as cardiac catheterization, and coordinate with other specialists for more complex care.

Other preventive programs include:

  • Wellness and weight management programs
  • Nutrition consultations

Heart Imaging and Diagnostics

Successful treatment and survival of a heart attack requires immediate medical attention. The affiliated heart specialists utilize advanced technology to assist in providing fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease, close to home.

Available tests and treatments include:

  • Stress echo
  • EKG
  • Holter monitor
  • Exercise/chemical stress testing
  • Nuclear cardiology
  • Peripheral vascular ultrasound
  • Vein mapping
  • Arterial Doppler ankle-brachial index

Chest pain patients are screened for heart attack symptoms upon arrival to our Emergency Center and, if necessary, are transferred to our 24/7 ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) STEMI cardiac catheterization lab.

Accredited Chest Pain Center and PCI Facility

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital’s designation as an accredited Chest Pain Center recognizes the affiliated physicians and hospital staff for meeting the Society of Chest Pain Centers’ stringent criteria for rapid response.

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital is designated as a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) hospital.

This means all types of chest pain patients, from low-risk disorders to acute myocardial infarction, can be assessed and treated in our cardiac catheterization labs. At 90 minutes or less, the STEMI team’s fast times to PCI meet the “gold” standard for door-to-balloon times.

Invasive Cardiology and Peripheral Capabilities include:

  • Radial arterial catheterization
  • Coronary angiography
  • Peripheral vascular angiography
    • Abdominal aorta
    • Carotid
    • Renal
    • Subclavian
    • Thoracic aorta
  • Angioplasty/stenting
    • Coronary
    • Carotid
    • Peripheral
  • Percutaneous recanalization of lower-extremity arteries
  • Atherectomy
  • Thrombolytic therapy
  • IABP/Impella insertion
  • IVC filter placement

Electrophysiology (Heart Rhythm Treatments)

An arrhythmia is a problem with the beating of the heart. Instead of beating in a regular rhythm, the heart receives abnormal electrical signals that cause it to beat inefficiently. Arrhythmias can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood properly and may lead to serious health issues. An Electrophysiologist (EP) will order a study of the electrical activity of a patient’s heart to determine the source of the issue and determine an individualized treatment plan, if needed.

  • Cardioversion
  • Permanent pacemaker insertion
    • Pacemaker insertion
    • Biventricular pacemaker insertion
    • ICD insertion
  • Electrophysiology
    • Electrophysiology study
    • Ablation

Vascular and Endovascular Services

HL- Early SignsMemorial Hermann Southeast Hospital offers the latest technology in vascular care backed by a commitment to excellence.

The term 'Hybrid operating room' is used to describe an operating room with fixed imaging equipment, specifically designed to carry out both conventional surgery and image-guided intervention. It creates an optimal working environment to carry out complex procedures in a single suite.

In addition to the state-of-the-art services offered through the robotic surgical system, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital’s hybrid operating-endovascular suite is equipped with a dual-track flex arm. Designed specifically for vascular and cardiovascular patients, the equipment allows surgeons to perform open surgeries and endovascular procedures with advanced imaging, without transporting patients – essentially combining the capabilities of a cardiac catheterization lab and operating room into a single suite.

The dual-track flex arm is just the beginning of the leading-edge technology available in the expanded perioperative unit. All four of our new operating suites, including the hybrid room, were designed with versatility in mind and are equipped with fully high-definition integration and boom-mounted equipment. They can accommodate a wide range of procedures with ease, allowing for more efficient and effective patient care.

Endovascular Abdominal Aneurysm Repair (EVAR)

The minimally invasive EVAR procedure involves making small incisions in the groin and threading catheter tubes through the femoral arteries and into the aorta. A fabric-covered metal stent is introduced through the artery and fixed in place, relieving pressure on the artery to prevent rupture. Patients remain conscious under local anesthesia during the procedure. Evidence suggests that patients who undergo EVAR have lower morbidity rates and shorter recovery times and can usually resume normal activity a week after surgery.

Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR)

TEVAR is a minimally-invasive option to repair thoracic aorta diseases; most commonly, thoracic aneurysmal disease. During the procedure, a small endograft is inserted into the aneurysm to replace the diseased section of the aorta. Research has shown that reduced mortality rates, more rapid recovery and a shorter hospital length of stay for TEVAR patients are advantages over the traditional, open surgical repair.

Carotid Artery Disease

We perform carotid endarterectomy and stenting to repair stenosis of the carotid artery. Endarterectomy to strip atheromatous plaque from the carotid vessels has been shown to reduce the two-year risk of stroke by 80 percent for patients who have severe stenosis of 70 percent to 99 percent. For patients who may not be candidates for endarterectomy, angioplasty and stent insertion may provide a minimally invasive alternative.

The Closure Procedure for Varicose Veins

Using ultrasound, the surgeon inserts a closure catheter into the diseased vein through a small incision. The catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall. As the catheter is withdrawn, the vein wall is heated, causing collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. Outcomes are positive: 90 percent of treated veins have remained reflux free at two years. Patient benefits may include less postoperative pain and bruising, return to normal activity within one day and return to work more than a week earlier than patients who undergo vein stripping.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)

TOS is caused by compression of nerves, blood vessels or both, as a result of trauma, disease or congenital deformity in the thoracic outlet between the clavicle and first rib. Treatment begins with exercises to stretch and open the tissues associated with the thoracic outlet. If symptoms persist, surgery may be an option. The surgeon makes an incision above the clavicle and removes neck muscles, along with the first rib, easing pressure on the brachial plexus nerves.

Limb Salvage in Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia

Critical limb ischemia is manifested by pain in the limbs at rest, non-healing pressure ulcers and the presence of gangrene. Caused by multiple blockages at various levels in the limb vasculature, continuous ischemia at rest can indicate vascular insufficiency severe enough to present a threat to the affected limb. The blockage location may be isolated using Doppler ultrasound, CT, CT angiography, MR angiography and, when necessary, invasive angiography.

Intervention varies according to diagnosis, and may include conservative therapy, revascularization or amputation.

When arterial openings are extremely narrow, balloon angioplasty is the preferred procedure for revascularization.

Less frequently, deposits are removed by atherectomy using either a laser or a tiny, rotating knife inside a catheter to shave the obstruction from the arterial wall. The procedure is followed by stent placement, if required.

Vascular and Endovascular Capabilities include:

  • Aortic surgery
    • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair
    • Aortic root reconstruction
    • Thoracoabdominal aneurysm (TAA) repair
  • Endovascular surgery
    • Aortic aneurysm repair
    • Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TEVAR procedure)
    • Carotid artery stenting
    • PAD
  • Peripheral vascular surgery
    • Carotid endarterectomy
    • Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)
    • Limb salvage and critical limb eschemia
    • Surgery/ablation for varicose veins
    • Dialysis access surgery

Thoracic Surgery

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital offers an array of thoracic services, from diagnostic procedures to innovative minimally invasive surgery that are shown to improve outcomes for rare and common forms of chest and lung disease.

Thoracic capabilities include:

  • Minimally invasive lung surgery
  • Video-assisted Thorascopic surgery (VATS)
  • VATS lobectomy
  • VATS thymectomy
  • Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE)

Open Heart Surgery Program

At Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, a specially trained team of affiliated cardiovascular surgeons and anesthesiologists offers a variety of surgical procedures. Tailoring care to each patient, the team uses state-of-the-art technology to perform advanced surgical techniques.

Open heart procedures performed include:

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

CABG is an open-heart operation performed to redirect blood around a narrowed segment of a heart artery. During the procedure, a graft vein or artery is taken from a healthy blood vessel and surgically attached above and below the blocked artery. Blood will then flow through the graft vessel, bypassing the blocked vessel and allowing for adequate blood flow to the heart.

Heart Valve Surgery

Used to repair or replace diseased heart valves. Procedures may be open, during which the surgeon makes an incision down the center of the chest, or they may be done minimally invasively.

About Our Medical Director

Dr. NahasCesar Nahas, M.D., FACS
Associate Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Medical Director, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital Cardiac Surgery Program


Dr. Nahas specializes in cardiovascular surgery and received his medical degree at St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. He completed his training in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine with Dr. Michael DeBakey. Prior to his current position, Dr. Nahas was a full time faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine, and was chief of the cardiac surgery at the Houston VA Hospital. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery, and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association. He has developed expertise in off-pump coronary artery bypass and mitral valve repair.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Whether you have had a heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty, heart transplant or valve replacement, or have angina, congestive heart failure or any other cardiac-related illness, you may benefit from the cardiac rehabilitation program at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. Our goal is to help people with heart disease participate actively and confidently in their own recovery so they can return, as much as possible, to the life they enjoyed before heart disease.

The cardiac rehabilitation program is a three-phase, multidimensional, medically supervised program designed to help patients recover as quickly as possible from heart disease. With a comprehensive focus on exercise, education and lifestyle change, the program is designed to improve overall physical and mental functioning. Patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program following heart surgery or a diagnosis of heart disease tend to have better outcomes in managing their condition.

Physician referral is required for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.