Over the last several years, the aortic surgery program at Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano has grown into a high-volume Aortic Center with a reputation as a leader in the care of diseases of the aorta – across the state and beyond. With that growth has come access to innovative trials, advanced technology and, most importantly, quality outcomes.
“There is an association between volume and quality in aortic surgery,” said William T. Brinkman, MD, medical director of thoracic aortic surgery at Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano. “High-volume centers like us offer a full range of therapies from traditional surgeries to minimally invasive endovascular surgeries.”
The dedicated center brings together multiple physicians on the medical staff from cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery, who discuss complex cases and provide a collaborative approach to care. This creates streamlined care for patients, allowing them to have evaluation and treatment all in one place – from complex open surgery to stent graphs to medical management.
“There’s really no other center in North Texas and the region that has as much of a variation of treatment options as we do,” said Dennis R. Gable, MD, chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano. “We have consistent volumes for aortic procedures across the board.”
With its high volumes and quality, the Aortic Center has become a referral center for community hospitals in the region. To help expedite treatment, the center has defined protocols and trained staff in all areas, such as anesthesiology, nursing and surgical supply, to handle even the most complex or urgent cases. The hospital also has created protocols for the management of patients postoperatively to help maximize quality outcomes.
“One of our greatest advantages is that we have a system and protocol in place to handle complex aortic cases,” said David O. Moore, MD, medical director, physician champion in patient safety at Baylor Scott & White Heart – Plano. “Everyone on the team understands the tools we need and the options we have available, which makes care much smoother.”
The Aortic Center’s high volumes and quality also provide the opportunity to work with others in the industry on research and clinical trials, which often gives patients access to newer technology. The hospital is the only program in North Texas participating in a clinical trial to use branch stent grafts in lesions of the aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta, and it is one of only two sites in the nation with a physician-sponsored investigational device exemption (PSIDE) study for the endovascular treatment of type A aortic dissections.
“A lot of what we do isn’t textbook stuff,” Dr. Gable said. “That’s why we have the center to support these advanced procedures. It’s important to have experience with various methods so that you can have quality outcomes.”