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Dr. William E. ‘Billy’ Cohn Wins
2013 Edison Award Silver 

Recognition for Surgical Device Invention 

Dr. William CohnHOUSTON, TEXAS (May 2, 2013) - Dr. William E. “Billy” Cohn, director of minimally invasive surgical technology for the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, has received a 2013 Silver Edison Award for a catheter-based surgical suture device he invented  -- the SentreHEART Lariat.

2013 Silver Edison Award for Dr. William Cohn The Edison Awards annually honor “the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services.” The awards were presented at the annual Edison Awards gala in Chicago on April 25. Dr. Cohn received his award in the “Surgical Aids” category.

The LARIAT Suture Delivery Device, invented by Dr. Cohn, allows surgeons to tie off the left atrial appendage (LAA) in the heart via a catheter without the need for open-heart surgery. Tying off the LAA is thought to be of value in some patients with atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm), especially those who cannot take blood thinners.  The procedure is performed in the cardiology catheterization lab under X-ray guidance and requires no incision. The LARIAT was cleared by the FDA for ligation of soft tissue in 2009 and is also approved in Europe. .

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Cohn and this prestigious achievement,” said Dr. James T. Willerson, THI’s president and medical director. “His skill as a surgeon, his inventiveness as a researcher, and his dedication to improving the lives of patients are all remarkable.”

LARIAT device invented by Dr. Billy Cohn.

A full list of the winners can be found here:

The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to fostering future innovators. The 2013 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielsen, Discovery Communications, Science Channel, and USA Today. For more information about the Edison Awards, Edison Universe and a list of past winners, visit

For media inquiries please contact:
Director of Public Affairs
Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Frank Michel  ♦  832-355-9510  ♦

For THI and St. Luke's media profiles, see Public Affairs.

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