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Hybrid Ablation Procedure

Hybrid ablation procedure now offered at Ellis provides a new treatment option for chronic a-fib sufferers and better long-term outcomes.

There have been significant advances over the last ten years in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms. Many arrhythmias can be cured by catheter ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that’s done by inserting small catheters through veins to reach the heart; but not all patients are good candidates for catheter procedures.

Patients with more persistent atrial fibrillation or with other conditions such as abnormally large hearts, may not achieve the same benefits from catheter based procedures. These patients have had few options for minimally invasive treatments and often required surgical intervention, with longer recoveries and increased risks - until now.

In 2011, Ellis Medicine added a combined, or “hybrid ablation” procedure to treat chronic a-fib. Combining both surgical and catheter-based techniques, the hybrid procedure opens up a new opportunity for people who would not be good candidates for catheter-based procedures alone, and provides much better long term success rates and freedom from a-fib.

The new hybrid ablation is performed by both an electrophysiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon working together. The cardiothoracic surgeon ablates (creates scar tissue) the outside of the heart, while the electrophysiologist uses a catheter to ablate from inside the heart. These ablations restore a normal heart rhythm by blocking the damaged electrical pathways or "short-circuits" that are causing an irregular heartbeat.

By combining the most beneficial aspects of two treatment approaches (catheter and surgery) into a single procedure, hybrid ablation yields many benefits, including:

  • A safer, minimally invasive option (only a few small abdominal incisions are needed)
  • Higher success rates and better long-term results
  • Improved quality of life without a-fib symptoms

Hybrid ablation is typically used for patients with persistent a-fib looking for a minimally invasive option and/or who don’t have other treatment options available.

Ellis Medicine’s program for the management of atrial fibrillation is a collaborative effort between cardiothoracic surgeons, electrophysiologists, nurses and technicians that provides the best care, tailored to each individual patient. The new hybrid procedure demonstrates Ellis Medicine’s leadership and commitment to expanding our capacity to care for patients with atrial fibrillation.

To learn more about the hybrid surgical-catheter procedure for chronic atrial fibrillation call 518.377.8184 ( dial ext. 4 for scheduling).