Don’t let a little construction detour your health care

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Leticia Castillo Kontak, MD, was one of the cardiologists responsible for bringing the Afib treatment implant device procedure to Baylor Scott & White's Round Rock hospital.
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Vijay Divakaran, MD, will be one of the providers offering the heart failure monitoring service to Round Rock-area patients beginning this summer.
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Many cardiac conditions are now treated using minimally invasive surgical procedures, so patients benefit from a reduced or no hospital stay, lower risk of complications and a shorter recovery period. Interventional cardiology at Baylor Scott & White Health deals specifically with the catheter-based, non-surgical treatment of structural heart diseases.
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Jose Condado Contreras, MD, discusses the benefits of a device implant procedure with a potential candidate in the Cardiology Clinic at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Round Rock.
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Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock recently completed a multiphase renovation project that included expanded surgical services and innovative cardiovascular suites, renovated heart and vascular services, and advanced technology.
The City of Round Rock is widening University Boulevard between North Interstate Highway 35 frontage road to Sunrise Boulevard. Construction began in April and may affect how you get to Baylor Scott & White Health.

During construction, the main entrance to the campus of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Round Rock, Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – Round Rock, Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Round Rock 300 University, and Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Round Rock 302 University, will be closed for about 10 months.

Three entrances will be available to the campus from North Mays Street. Follow signage for the best entrance to give you the fastest access to your destination. Allow extra time for your drive to the campus, as University Boulevard will be reduced to a single lane of traffic each way. You will want to give yourself an extra 30 minutes so that you do not miss your appointment time.

Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock offers a nationally recognized comprehensive cardiology program that includes heart disease prevention, advanced diagnosis and treatment options for patients living with a variety of heart and vascular conditions. The medical center’s cardiology professionals use a team approach to rapid treatment of heart attacks, while our specialized services and innovative heart treatment options equip us to take on cardiology-related situations — from non-invasive diagnostic techniques to emergency heart procedures.

For the past two years, Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock has earned a spot among the top 50 U.S. cardiovascular hospitals. Within that prestigious group, IBM Watson Health and Fortune ranked the medical center No. 10 in the category of community hospitals.

IBM Watson Health analyzed data from almost 1,000 hospitals that included outcomes, patient experience, and cost. Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock was the only hospital recognized in Central Texas. Within the group, the medical center earned the top spot for percutaneous coronary intervention among community hospitals, which is ranked on factors such as average length of hospital stay and average cost per case.

Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock recently completed a multiphase renovation project that included expanded surgical services and innovative cardiovascular suites, renovated heart and vascular services, and advanced technology. The innovative cardiac services offer quality cardiovascular care close to home.

Among the new services:

Transcatheter aortic value replacement (TAVR): As an alternative to open-heart surgery, this procedure has demonstrated fewer complications and a shorter recovery time, with a patient typically discharged the day after the procedure. With the addition of the new TAVR program, patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis have access to an innovative and convenient treatment. A new valve is inserted without removing the old, damaged valve during the minimally invasive procedure.

The Afib treatment implant device: The device the size of a quarter offers some patients an alternative to long-term blood thinner used to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib). Blood thinners reduce the risk of a stroke caused by clots forming in the heart chambers, particularly the left atrial appendage (LAA), located on the top of the heart. The device is designed to prevent blood clots that frequently form in the LAA from traveling in the blood stream to the brain, lungs and other parts of the body. The parachute-shaped device is implanted using minimally invasive techniques. Clots that travel to the brain cause strokes, one of the leading causes of death and disability. Cardiologists perform the hour-long procedure in a catheterization lab while the patient is under light general anesthesia. Patients typically are released from the hospital in less than 24 hours after the procedure and gradually eliminate their use of blood thinning medication under supervision of their cardiologist.

Electrophysiology: The medical center’s arrhythmia program can help pinpoint a variety of heart rhythm problems and brings together cardiovascular expertise and medical technology to treat irregular cardiac rhythms that affect the heart's ability to pump blood. Electrophysiology studies, performed in the electrophysiology suite of the Round Rock hospital, help determine the exact location and cause. An electrophysiology study assesses the heart's electrical system or activity and is used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia. The program also offers a device clinic for pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators, as well as ablation surgeries for a minimally invasive approach.

Heart failure treatment system: For heart failure patients, blood pressure through the pulmonary artery can indicate worsening heart failure, even before symptoms — such as shortness of breath or weight gain —are evident. A heart failure treatment system, scheduled to be rolled out this summer, features a small pressure-sensing device implanted directly into the pulmonary artery. Information is regularly transmitted to the patient’s care team, enabling doctors to use the information to adjust medications and treatment plans without the need to visit the clinic or hospital. The system offers real-time notification of patient changes and simple, convenient access to secure data for proactive, personalized patient management. It also provides patients with a heightened awareness of the factors affecting their health and a powerful sense of control.

“We are proud of our growing cardiology program,” said Rafael Gonzalez, MD, a cardiologist on the medical staff and associate chief medical officer in the Baylor Scott & White – Austin Region. “We want to help Texans have access to innovative cardiology care.”

“We are grateful to the hard work from each and every member of our cardiovascular division to help successfully launch these programs with great outcomes,” said Vijay Divakaran, MD, cardiology section chief at Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock.

For more information about Baylor Scott & White – Round Rock programs, visit: https://www.bswhealth.com/locations/round-rock/

Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of those medical centers or Baylor Scott & White Health.