Pasco News

Team approach benefits atrial fibrillation patients

HUDSON — Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point now has cardiothoracic surgeons and electrophysiologists teaming up to provide another treatment option for atrial fibrillation for patients with even the most difficult-to-treat cases.

The new minimally invasive treatment option is known as the convergent procedure, hospital officials explained.

The procedure begins with a cardiothoracic surgeon navigating a special catheter through a small incision in the abdomen, allowing access to the posterior of the atrium under direct visualization.

Then using radio frequency for focused heat, the surgeon produces complete linear lesions (scar tissue) on the outside of the heart to block abnormal electrical signals.

The electrophysiologist, who is a cardiologist specializing in treating abnormal heart rhythms, then threads an ablation catheter through the groin area to reach inside the upper left chamber of the heart. This can ensure the lesions are complete and connected utilizing EP diagnostics to confirm that abnormal electrical signals have been interrupted.

Performed at the hospital’s Arrhythmia Center of Florida, this multidisciplinary Heart Team approach allows EPs to utilize best practices and standardize new procedures.

The convergent procedure provides a minimally invasive treatment option for longtime atrial fibrillation patients. They can look forward to shorter recovery times and enjoying a better quality of life.

Participating physicians of the convergent procedure team include electrophysiologists Luis Annoni, Rajiva Goyal, Raul Jimenez, Darshan Patel and Kenneth Yamamura, along with cardiothoracic surgeons N.S. Rattehalli and Michael Wahl.

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