Through innovative cardiac research, the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute team at Long Beach Medical Center, is leading the way in effective minimally invasive surgeries and treatments for patients. Through this research, the team is providing innovative medications, devices and therapies for the community — long before they are available elsewhere.

Innovative Research

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute team is currently working on improving and advancing aortic stent and catheter technology making it less invasive and more available for a broader range of patients.

An aortic stent is needed when the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body, is crushed or damaged, either from trauma, aging or heart conditions. Without immediate emergency treatment, a person may bleed out within minutes. Traditionally major emergency surgery is performed to replace the aorta at the point of rupture.

Rodney White, M.D., medical director, Vascular Surgery, along with Ali Khoynezhad, M.D., medical director, Aortic and Arrhythmia Surgery, through their research have both pioneered and developed a specialized stent and catheter that can be inserted through an artery in the leg up to the tear or rupture in the aorta, patching it up without invasive surgery.

The team is constantly evaluating and analyzing new ways to select and monitor patients during and after procedures and through therapy to enhance safety practices and the quality of care.


“Research and development of new technologies is critical for any cardiovascular center,” says Dr. White. “My team and I are motivated to advance treatments beyond current capabilities, to better serve our patients, save lives and enhance the speed of recovery.”


Research Legacy

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute has a rich history of innovation and pioneering testing and treatments in the cardiac field. The program continues to advance heart and vascular research through innovative clinical trials and a team of dedicated professionals.

  • Exercise Stress Testing was co-invented with the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute team more than 50 years ago.
  • Pacemaker specialists at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute were instrumental in determining how to synchronize the heart with bi-ventricular pacemakers, a technique now widely used all over the world.
  • The team has been a leader in evaluating and testing new medication and devices used to treat the development of heart disease.

“As a researcher and educator, I have always been interested and proud of pursuing new research and practices to better serve my patients and their families,” says Dr. Khoynezhad. “Aortic surgery is a silent killer and can be overwhelming and devastating on everyone. Finding ways to further investigate and refine therapeutic treatments and making lifesaving surgery less invasive is what inspires me to continue with my research.”

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center is one of California's most comprehensive centers for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease. Nationally recognized, it provides advanced care for complex heart conditions including myocardial infarction, heart failure, arrhythmias and peripheral vascular disease.