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Keeping Your Heart on Beat

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation — a quiver in the upper chambers of the heart that causes the heart to beat irregularly.

Atrial fibrillation can be treated with radiofrequency ablation. Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital now uses the Hansen Sensei® X Robotic Catheter system to perform this procedure.

When a patient undergoes ablation with the Hansen system, a small catheter is inserted in a blood vessel and is guided to the heart robotically with a joystick-like device controlled by a physician. Once the area where the atrial fibrillation is occurring is identified, painless radiofrequency energy destroys the muscle cells that cause the abnormal beating.

“Before this technology was available, the catheter would have to be manipulated manually,” says William Nesbitt, M.D., cardiac electrophysiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Arlington Memorial. “Robotic technology allows for a more precise ablation. This minimally invasive procedure decreases procedure times and the amount of radiation patients experience, leading to more successful outcomes.”

While this advanced medical technology allows patients to get back to living their lives sooner, it’s not appropriate for everyone.

“This type of treatment should be decided on a case-by-case basis,” says Dr. Nesbitt. “If patients have atrial fibrillation, they should consider speaking with their physicians to see if ablation is the right choice for them.”

To learn more about Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, visit TexasHealth.org/Arlington or call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355). (Summer 2010)

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