The Convergent Approach
Whether you have brief spells of atrial fibrillation (Afib), long periods of Afib, or permanent Afib, we have specialists to help you decide which treatment(s) are best for you.
Brief spells of symptomatic atrial fibrillation are typically managed with medicines, while those with longer spells are typically candidates for procedures such as ablation. These procedures target specific heart cells that trigger Afib. These cells are located in structures called the pulmonary veins. By destroying these triggers with radio frequency energy or with cryo energy, we can cure upwards of 70 to 80 percent of patients of their Afib.
Afib Patients Now Have Another Treatment Option
For more chronic forms of atrial fibrillation, the electrophysiologist (EP) and cardiac surgeon team up to perform a procedure called the convergent approach. This is a minimally invasive ablation procedure that restores the heart to a normal sinus rhythm.
It involves a minor surgical procedure, similar to gall bladder surgery, and is performed through a small port or tunnel going to the back side of the left atrium.
Patients undergo the surgical portion in the operating room and are then transported to the EP lab (while asleep) where they undergo an ablation procedure done through the groin.
The combined procedure gives patients with chronic Afib the best chances of restoring and maintaining normal rhythm.
Who may be a candidate for the convergent approach?
- Those living with Afib for many years
- Those with structural heart disease, such as coronary artery disease
- Those with an enlarged left atrium, typically seen with a cardiac ultrasound
- Those who have failed previous catheter treatments
For more information, contact our Atrial Fibrillation Program at 877-617-AFIB (2342).