HOUSTON (October 16, 2023)

A team of affiliated doctors and nurses at the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the state of Texas to use the latest technology to prevent strokes in patients who have atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Patients who have AFib, the most common type of heart arrhythmia, are at an increased risk of stroke. AFib may cause blood clots to form in the left atrial appendage (LAA) of the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke. The left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) device permanently closes off the LAA to keep blood clots from forming. During the procedure, doctors insert a catheter through a vein in the groin in order to implant the device.

The new LAAC device technology includes a special coating that minimizes blood clot formation and possible stroke. Plus, there are now more size options, enabling physicians to treat patients with larger left atrial appendages.

“We are honored to be the second hospital in the state and first in Houston to use this new technology to treat our patients,” said Byron Auzenne, director of Cardiology at the Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann Memorial City. “We pride ourselves in utilizing the latest technology and delivering high-quality care and service every single day.”

“Memorial Hermann Memorial City was among the first 14 hospitals in the nation to perform a procedure with the new technology,” said Amir Kashani, MD, an interventional cardiologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Memorial City. “Our affiliated doctors and nurses continue to be leaders in structural heart care not just in Texas but also in the U.S.”

The minimally invasive procedure typically takes less than an hour and most patients go home from the hospital the same day.