HOUSTON (August 12, 2014)

Catheterization Laboratory Nurse Mary AbantoAccording to the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest is one of the few hospitals in Houston to elevate its cardiology program with the addition of a certified cardiac electrophysiology nurse.

Catheterization Laboratory Nurse Mary Abanto, R.N., B.S.N. received her competency certification in cardiac electrophysiology for allied professionals from the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners. Recipients of this designation are recognized for professional competence, highly respected by peers and other medical professionals, can demonstrate advanced skills in clinical practices, and represent a standard of excellence in the arrhythmia community.

On the forefront of treating abnormal heart rhythms – a condition which may indicate a serious problem and can lead to heart disease, stroke, or even death – Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest offers a complete range of treatment options and specialized care including drug therapy, cardiac resynchronization therapy, cardioversion, catheter ablation using advanced radiofrequency, and catheter cryoballoon technology.

Electrophysiology nurses are central to the delivery of quality care in heart rhythm disorder management.

“Cardiac electrophysiology is an exciting field of medicine with rapidly evolving technologies and therapies for patients of all ages with a variety of heart issues,” said Sohail Jalal, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest. “Having a certified cardiac electrophysiology nurse on our team demonstrates our strong commitment to delivering the highest quality and safety to our patients.”

Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest was among the first to use MediGuide™ technology, a state-of-the-art system that applies 3-D visualization and precise navigation to pre-recorded X-ray images. These images serve as a base map during image-guided cardiac ablation procedures and cardiac resynchronization therapy. Previously, physicians viewed devices in the heart using live fluoroscopy, a rapid series of X-ray images taken throughout the procedure.

The MediGuide technology uses less fluoroscopy throughout the procedure while still giving physicians a clear view inside the heart. Recorded images also reduce the duration of exposure to radiation for patients, physicians and support staff in the procedure room. This is especially important for long or complicated cardiac procedures when the duration of exposure to radiation is greatest.

Selected from more than 1,000 U.S hospitals, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Southwest is among Truven Health’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals. This annual designation identifies the nation's best providers of cardiovascular service and demonstrates the commitment a hospital’s cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, and cardiovascular service administrators and staff have for basic care and patient outcomes.