Emerging Technologies

Memorial Southwest Texas Surgical Associates’ five cardiovascular surgeons are able to specialize in new evolving technologies so that virtually any new proven procedure can be offered at our program. Please read about these new surgeries. Remember, these new treatments may not be recommended in every patient’s situation. That is where our surgeon’s experience, judgment and case selection differentiate us from others.

Beating Heart Surgery

Beating Heart Surgery is coronary artery bypass surgery done without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass pump. With several years and hundreds of successful operations, our program is one of Houston’s most established programs. Ask your surgeon if this is best for you.

Endovascular Harvesting of Leg Vein

Endovascular harvesting of the leg vein allows coronary bypass to be done with nearly no leg incisions at all. Advantages with this technique may include less pain and fewer infections.

Aortic Valve or Root Replacement

Aortic valve or root replacement uses nonstented porcine or human cadaveric aortic valves to replace a patient’s diseased aortic valve. This allows better cardiac performance without blood thinners.

Mitral Valve Repair

Mitral valve repair may avoid the need for mitral valve replacement in some patients. This allows fewer complications and no need for blood thinners. Our surgeons have experience with both posterior leaflet repair and the more difficult anterior leaflet repairs.

Endovascular Stent Graft Exclusion of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm or Thoracic

Endovascular stent graft exclusion of abdominal or thoracic aneurysms allows treatment of a life threatening aneurysm without an abdominal or thoracic incision. This produces less pain and less risk in patients with poor cardiac or pulmonary function.

Surgery for Atrial Fibrillation

Radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation can be added to coronary bypass or mitral valve repair for converting a patient in atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. This may allow cessation of a patient’s long time reliance of blood thinners.

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is performed through smaller incisions. This may produce less pain and shorten recovery periods.


Atherectomy is a minimally invasive device that mechanically removes the plaque from a blocked or narrowed artery. This can avoid amputation in patients with advanced blockages.


Liquid nitrogen balloon angioplasty is used to dilate blockages in the arteries to the legs or arms. This procedure can salvage limbs that are progressing toward gangrene in a minimally invasive fashion.

Fistula First

Fistula First is a Medicare sponsored initiative to use a dialysis fistula before other means of dialysis access. These more difficult techniques are now used exclusively by our surgeons. Our group is now recognized as the busiest fistula practice in the state of Texas.