HOUSTON (AP) — Some operating rooms in Houston where pioneering heart procedures were done in the era of famed surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey will relocate this summer.

Houston Methodist Hospital will close those operating rooms after nearly 50 years as one of the historic spots at Texas Medical Center, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.

Methodist's Fonden-Brown operating rooms will shut down in August as the hospital's Heart Center moves into the Paula and Joseph C. "Rusty" Walter III Tower. The new tower will feature 366 patient beds and 18 high-tech operating rooms.

"The Fondren-Brown operating room served as an incubator for innovation and firsts in heart surgery for nearly 50 years," said Dr. Michael Reardon, a Methodist cardiothoracic surgeon whose time in the operating room dates back to 1975, when he was a student at then-affiliated Baylor College of Medicine.

"Although the doors are closing, the culture created by Dr. DeBakey will transition into the new Walter Tower where high-tech surgical equipment, bigger operating rooms and advanced imaging will help us continue to push the frontiers of minimally-invasive care of cardiovascular disease," Reardon said.

DeBakey died in 2008 at age 99.

Methodist's Fonden-Brown ORs were the locus of numerous breakthroughs in heart care, according to the newspaper, including the world's first coronary artery bypass; the first successful autotransplant for cardiac malignancy; the first implantation of the MicroMed DeBakey Ventricular Assist Device; the nation's first percutaneous implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD); the first repair of a large aneurysm of the aortic arch; and the world's first multi-organ transplant that included a heart, lung and two kidneys from one donor.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com