New procedures, office expansions and development: Health care news briefs in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto


Advanced cardiac medical procedures now practiced in Round Rock

Advanced cardiac electrophysiology surgery is now being practiced in Round Rock after the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute in February opened its newest lab in St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.

The electrophysiology lab is now available for Round Rock residents with complicated cardiac diagnoses, such as complex pacemaker surgery.

In fact, the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute has installed the world’s smallest pacemaker–which is only the size of a pill–into a patient at St. David’s Round Rock. According to the hospital, it is the first wireless pacemaker to be implanted in a patient in Williamson County.

“We can now do much more complicated procedures,” said Dr. Robert Canby, chair of the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute. “In the past we’ve been able to do more limited and straightforward procedures, but as they got more complicated people had to leave Round Rock.”

Per Canby, procedures at the electrophysiology lab utilize advanced imaging techniques. The lab has the capability to do a procedure where small wires are installed into the heart to diagnose cardiac problem areas.

“It’s a way of treating heart rhythm problems without long term medicine,” Canby said.

Sanova Dermatology to open expanded clinical trial and research laboratory office in Pflugerville

Sanova Dermatology, a skin care and cosmetics medical business, is poised to expand its offices in Pflugerville this summer to include a research facility, corporate offices and a “medical spa.”

Ted Lain, chief medical officer for Sanova, opened Sanova Dermatology in Pflugerville in 2010. Now, Lain is expanding the facility to include Sanova’s corporate offices and a “medical spa” that offers aesthetic procedures.

The first of four buildings in Pflugerville Parkway Medical Offices, located at 1601 E. Pflugerville Parkway, will feature space for dermatological clinical trials, according to Lain.

“What this new facility does is it allows us to expand both the number of patients we see… but also the number of clinical trials we offer,” Lain said. “These are treatments that other physicians are not available
to offer yet.”

Though Lain said the clinic will primarily serve skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, patients will potentially be able to partake in clinical trials to cure chronic dermatological problems, including eczema and chryssos.

Lain and Lorie Raney, broker for Pinnacle Real Estate which oversees the marketing of the Pflugerville Parkway Medical Offices development, said they hope to see specialty medical offices fill in the space.

The total development, which broke ground in April,  will feature 65,000 square feet of space.

“Pflugerville has really grown, so we’re just expanding to support the community,” Lain said. “This gives Pflugerville the ability to expand specialty offices.”

Rehabilitation hospitals open doors, break ground in Round Rock

Two rehabilitation hospitals will collectively add more than 100 beds for skilled nursing care to the Round Rock area.

Rapid Recovery Center opened its eighth Texas location in Round Rock on March 7, bringing with it 70 beds for patients requiring rehabilitative health care services. The $20 million hospital offers a range of post-hospital care services such as dialysis coordination.

“Our goal is to give our patients the immediate care they need and be the catalyst to help them recover as soon as possible and enable them to return home to their daily lives,” said Mark Fritz, president of RRC Texas, in a news release.

According to the company, Round Rock’s Rapid Recovery Center employs 140 full-time staff members, including an onsite registered nurse supervisor whose role is to manage patient care. The hospital additionally staffs a medical director to supervise treatment coordination with nurse practitioners.

Officials from Post Acute Medical (PAM), a nationwide network of specialty hospitals, in April broke ground on the new 40-bed PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Round Rock facility. According to the Round Rock Chamber, PAM expects the 48,000-square-foot hospital, developed in coordination with the Houston-based hospital real estate firm Medistar, to open in the summer of 2019.

Round Rock City Council on Sept. 28 approved an economic development agreement with Medistar and Post Acute Medical stipulating the hospital invest at least $17 million into the construction of the hospital.

The agreement mandates the hospital system must provide 75 full-time jobs at the facility with an average annual salary of at least $55,000, plus benefits.

Similar to Rapid Recovery Center, PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Round Rock is set to provide post-surgical transition care for its patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. One wing of the hospital will be dedicated as a specialty unit for the treatment of individuals who are dealing with complications related to traumatic brain injury, stroke or neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.
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