A Leader in Cardiac Care for the Texas Panhandle

Heart Hospital

Northwest Texas Healthcare System is well known for its exceptional cardiac care through its Heart Hospital. We were recognized as a 'high performing' hospital in heart failure (and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) for the second year in a row, in the 2016-2017 rankings by  U.S. News & World Report.

Accredited Chest Pain Center for Evidence-Based Care

The Northwest Texas Healthcare accredited Chest Pain Center offers rapid, round-the-clock, evidence-based treatment of heart attack and suspected heart attack. The center is accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), an institute of the American College of Cardiology. To receive accreditation, a center must show that it combines evidence-based science, quality initiatives, clinical guidelines and best practices to produce an effective care model for heart attack and suspected heart attack.



Enhanced Accreditation for PCI

In addition to the standard accreditation, Northwest Texas Healthcare has received an enhanced accreditation from SCPC, making it a "Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI." Hospitals awarded this designation have primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. PCI is commonly known as angioplasty, a procedure used to treat the narrowed coronary arteries found heart in disease. To receive the enhanced accreditation, a hospital must have a call team of cardiac catheterization laboratory staff and an interventional cardiologist who arrive at the cardiac catheterization lab within a short, pre-determined window of time, day or night. Accredited facilities also must have documented processes designed to maximize treatment time and improve outcomes.

The Heart Hospital uses some of the newest innovations and technologies available to treat heart disease:

Advanced Cardiac Technology for the Texas Panhandle

Learn below about how we're bringing the latest, most advanced heart treatments to the Texas Panhandle with the Absorb™ Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold, the Corindus CorPath® System and the LifeVest™ Wearable Defibrillator.

Absorb™ Bioresorbable Dissolving Stent

In 2016, the interventional cardiology team at Northwest Texas Healthcare became the first in Amarillo, Texas to offer patients with coronary artery disease a new type of stent that dissolves over time. The Absorb™ Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold opens clogged arteries to restore blood flow, then gradually dissolves in the body—reducing the risk of future blockages that can occur with metal stents. Alan Chu, MD, of the Amarillo Heart Group treated a patient at Northwest Texas Healthcare System with the world's first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent. While stents are traditionally made of metal, the Absorb stent is made of a naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. The Absorb stent disappears in about three years after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. All that is left are two pairs of tiny metallic markers that remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.

Vascular Robotics with the CorPath® System

Northwest Texas Healthcare System performed the first robotic-assisted coronary angioplasty in Texas using the FDA-cleared Corindus CorPath® System. Coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to open a blocked artery to restore normal blood flow to the heart. The Corindus CorPath® System is an FDA-approved medical device that allows physicians to perform coronary angioplasty procedures with robotic precision. During a coronary angioplasty, physicians open a blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart. It is done by threading a thin tube called a catheter through the femoral artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon that pushes plaque to the sides of the artery. A stent, which is a small self-expanding, mesh tube, is inserted to prevent the artery from reclosing. By using robotic-assisted vascular technology, cardiologists are able to improve vessel visualization, allowing the ability to advance the balloon catheter and place the stent into the artery with more accuracy. Robotic-assisted vascular technology also reduces radiation exposure during the procedure.

LifeVest™ Wearable Defibrillator Monitors, Treats Abnormal Heart Rhythm

For patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, Northwest Texas Healthcare System offers an advanced protection and monitoring system, the LifeVest™ personal defibrillator. The LifeVest continuously monitors the heart and can deliver a treatment shock if it detects a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. There are two main components to the LifeVest: a garment and a monitor. The lightweight garment is worn under clothing and contains electrodes that detect arrhythmias and deliver treatment shocks. The monitor is worn around your waist and continuously monitors your heart. If the device detects a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm, it sounds an alarm to check if you are responsive. If you are, you have time to respond to the alarm and stop the treatment sequence. If you do not respond and the arrhythmia continues, the device delivers an electrical shock to restore normal heart rhythm. Up to five treatment shocks can be delivered. The LifeVest can be used to provide protection before an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is implanted or before a heart transplant. 

Learn about cardiac testing at the Heart Hospital

Survivor Stories

Read Keith Ingram's story about surviving a heart attack, thanks to rapid diagnosis and treatment at Northwest Texas Healthcare System

Read Scott Frish's story about surviving a heart attack, thanks to the Northwest Texas Healthcare trauma center

Direct Doctors Plus®

To find a doctor affiliated with the Heart Hospital at Northwest Texas Healthcare System, contact our free Direct Doctors Plus® referral service at 800-887-1114.