Los Fresnos News

Pioneering Valley Cardiologist Performs 1000th Life-Saving Aortic Aneurysm Repair Procedure

HARLINGEN – Dr. Shereef Hilmy, a Cardiologist at the South Heart Clinic, recently performed his 1000th aortic aneurysm repair procedure, potentially saving a patient’s life at Harlingen Medical Center.
The procedure is critical in that it must be performed before an aortic aneurysm bursts – which would mean severe internal bleeding and almost certain death for the patient.

Thanks to the minimally-invasive procedure that Dr. Hilmy performs at Harlingen Medical Center, most aortic aneurysm patients are able to go home after just a short stay in the hospital. The “endoluminal” aortic aneurysm repair procedure is performed through a small cut (incision). This is much easier for the patient than the traditional “open surgery” method — which requires a large cut in the belly or chest.
The minimally-invasive endovascular repair technique enables most patients to go home within 24 hours – as opposed to open surgery, which can require patients to stay in the hospital for seven to 10 days, Dr. Hilmy said.

Most aneurysms occur in older patients, in their 60s, 70s, or 80s. Dr. Hilmy and his support team at Harlingen Medical Center have performed aneurysm repairs on patients from across the Valley.
“We perform most of the complex cases in the Valley,” Dr. Hilmy said. “Patients come in with a life-threatening situation … it’s very rewarding to see them walk out of the hospital 24 hours later.”

Staff at Harlingen Medical Center who assist Dr. Hilmy with treatment and care of aneurysm patients include nurses and technicians in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, operating room techs, ICU nurses, and general staff members.

In recognition of his role in the development of numerous cardiac programs in the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Hilmy received the American Heart Association’s Thomas Robertson Award and the Heart Of Gold Award.
Dr. Hilmy has served as the chief of cardiology and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Harlingen Medical Center, which was named as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Fortune and IBM Watson Health in 2021 and 2022.

For more information on award-winning heart care in the Valley, please visit www.HarlingenMedicalCenter.com.