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Heart Hospital of Austin's Expansion Increases Patient Capacity by 30 Percent

Live peripheral vascular procedure highlights latest technologies and

medical advancements

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Heart Hospital of Austin, Texas' award winning heart hospital, officially opened the expansion of its heart hospital today with the introduction of new operating and procedure rooms, and laboratories. The hospital is rated as the number one overall cardiac program in the State of Texas five years in a row according to HealthGrades, the nation's leading provider of independent hospital ratings. The project involves 4,200 square feet of space and allows the hospital to increase its procedure capacity by 30 percent. "We are honored to officially open the expansion of the Heart Hospital of Austin today," said David Laird, president and CEO of the Heart Hospital of Austin. "This project is an example of our commitment to quality. By introducing new technologies and leading-edge procedures, the Heart Hospital of Austin remains on the cutting edge of today's innovative cardiovascular care."

The Heart Hospital's expansion addresses the many aspects of heart and vascular disease, including Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a vascular disease affecting arteries outside of the heart and brain, with three new rooms: Austin's only combination Hybrid Operating Room and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, a new Peripheral Vascular Catheterization Laboratory, and a dedicated Electrophysiology Laboratory with a Stereotaxis magnetic navigation system.

Through new technology, such as high resolution cardiovascular imaging systems, physicians are better able to see and perform intricate procedures offering patients higher quality and less invasive treatment. Sophisticated high-definition robotic cameras installed in the rooms make live broadcasting possible for education and conferencing to physicians across the U.S. The rooms also include advanced environmental features to reduce infection rates. The new hybrid operating and electrophysiology rooms alone will increase the Heart Hospital of Austin's capacity by more than 1,000 patients annually.

The hospital serves as a primary site for the nationally recognized research efforts of Austin Heart, the cardiology group based at the hospital. As one of the largest private practice clinical research programs in the nation, various types of research are conducted involving new drugs, devices, and new indications for existing therapies. The expansion of the facility and technology further the mission of the research.

To highlight some of the new technologies, two procedures were broadcast today via the new video equipment permanently installed in the rooms. Dr. Roger Gammon, cardiologist with Austin Heart, performed a live vascular procedure and Dr. Stephen Settle, vascular surgeon with Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, walked participants through a taped endovascular (minimally invasive) aneurysm repair for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

Heart Hospital of Austin

Fact Sheet

Austin's First Hybrid Operating Room

-- Austin's only combination Hybrid Operating Room and Cardiac

Catheterization Laboratory larger in size than traditional operating

rooms and incorporating catheterization laboratory-quality equipment.

-- Handles more complex and high-risk procedures such as an endovascular

aneurysm repair for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

-- Room allows for an endovascular, less invasive procedure and can change

quickly into an operating suite during a procedure if open surgery is


-- Philips FD-20 High-Resolution Cardiovascular System. Ceiling mounted,

the imaging system provides unrestricted access to patient and full-

body x-ray coverage. Images displayed immediately on a multi-monitor

system for the physicians' reference. New technology also improves the

resolution and clarity of the image.

-- Zoom-in capability on a patient's specific blockage or smaller blood

vessel to receive more accurate picture of problem.

-- Safer for patients because it photographs more of the body and requires

less radiation and imaging contrast than other modalities.

New Electrophysiology Laboratory

-- Electrophysiology features new Stereotaxis equipment and technology.

-- Includes a sophisticated magnetic guided catheter system which allows

for less invasive procedures. Externally applied, computer controlled

magnetic fields guide delivery of catheters and guidewires through the

blood vessels and chambers of the heart to treatment sites. The

magnetic fields govern the motion of the tip of the device resulting in

improved navigation for delivery of therapy, improved safety, shorter

procedure times, and reduced x-ray exposure to patients and medical


-- The Electrophysiology Laboratory is also equipped with traditional

angiography and interventional equipment for coronary and peripheral

vascular procedures.

New Peripheral Vascular Catheterization Laboratory

-- Combination catheterization laboratory designed primarily for

peripheral vascular cases, but also accommodates interventions related

to the heart.

-- Larger in size than the other catheterization laboratories.

-- Room comfortably facilitates advanced clinical research cases requiring

additional equipment or staffing.

Robotic High-Definition Cameras

-- Integrated robotic high-definition cameras and full-duplex

communications in operating and procedure rooms for nation-wide


-- Given the Heart Hospital of Austin is one of the first in the country

to implement new technologies, it is important to have the capability

to broadcast advanced techniques and procedures, clinical studies and

cardiac research to physicians from other hospitals.

-- Provides capability to perform an operation or procedure and distribute

it live (in real time) to classrooms, hospitals, or facilities anywhere

in the world via integrated satellite uplink system.

Latest Environmental Controls

-- Latest environmental controls supply exceptional air quality to the

rooms by utilizing multiple filtration systems, resulting in the air

being 99.7 percent pure.

-- Rooms receive 30 air changes per hour (compared to the required

standard of 20 air changes per hour), exceeding state and federal

government requirements by 50 percent.

-- Temperature levels can be optimized for procedures.

-- Reduces chance of procedure-related infections.

-- Establishes higher standard of patient care.

About Heart Hospital of Austin

The uniquely designed 58-bed hospital offers a full range of cardiac services and includes a 24-hour full service emergency center. Heart Hospital of Austin provides comprehensive physician-directed and patient-centered care resulting in excellent patient outcomes and satisfaction ratings. The hospital resulted from the shared vision of Austin Heart Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons Group of Austin (CTVS). Working with hospital leadership, the groups created an atmosphere of quality resulting in the #1 ranked heart program in Texas, five years in a row. More information can be found at

SOURCE Heart Hospital of Austin
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