We’re the first in Palm Beach, Broward and Martin County to offer a new minimally invasive procedure that combines the best of electrophysiology and cardiac surgery treatments to help restore normal heart rhythm for longtime sufferers of atrial fibrillation, or AFib. Early clinical experience has shown that the convergent approach, conducted in a single operating room setting, improves early outcomes for the most challenging patients and reduces procedure times when compared to approaches where the two disciplines work separately.
How it Works
Our cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists (EPs) work together to perform cardiac ablation on a beating heart using radiofrequency (focused heat) to produce scar tissue on the heart to block abnormal electrical signals. The surgeon is able to create comprehensive, linear lesions on the outside surface of the beating heart through a small, one-inch incision made in the patient’s abdomen. There are no chest incisions and/or ports, as in other surgical ablation procedures. The EP then threads a catheter through the patient’s femoral vein, in the groin, to reach the heart and fill in any gaps in the ablation. The EP utilizes diagnostic techniques to confirm that all abnormal electrical signals have been interrupted. The entire procedure lasts roughly half the time of a single-discipline catheter ablation procedure.
What to Expect
Following the convergent approach procedure, it is possible that your daily rhythm medications may be reduced or even eliminated. Typical hospital stays last two to three days, compared to five days or more for more invasive heart surgery, and you should be back to your normal activities quickly.