(03/26/14) - Genesys Health Park is now the only hospital in Michigan offering a
new way to treat atrial fibrillation, that actually combines the best of two
common procedures to help the sickest patients. It is called "Convergent".
David Taylor, who is one of the first patients at Genesys to have Convergent, was so impressed with his results, that he showed up to help his doctors unveil their new procedure room.
"This has been a long road, but a happy ending, for me anyways," he said.
It actually looks like any other fancy operating room, but it's so much more, says cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Marc Silver.
"This cath lab in particular is equipped to handle hybrid cases, that involve some surgical aspects and some catheter based aspects," he said.
When drugs are not working for an AFib patient, they can have a procedure called ablation, in a cath lab, to help regulate the heart rhythm. There is also a more invasive full surgical ablation to do the same thing.
Surgeons and an electrophysiologists team up in the operating room for Convergent, and offer the best of both procedures.
"With this procedure, we can let the surgeons take care of the back side of the heart and let us take care of all of the other areas of the heart. It's that combination of things that offers us a different approach," says Dr. Matthew Ebinger, and electrophysiologist.
This new approach is needed for patients who have not had success with ablation in the past, or who have significant heart damage due to chronic AFib. Not only does Convergent allow doctors to reach all of the hardest-to-get-to spots in the heart, but combining the two procedures makes the surgical part of the process less invasive.
"With this procedure, the surgical portion consists of a very small incision in the upper abdomen and two even smaller incisions on either side of that and it's all based on using a scope. So there is not big incisions, the patient has really minimal recovery time," says Dr. Karsten Fliegner, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Genesys.
Taylor is just ready to get back to his old life, and then some.
"I have a lot of things that I like to do that I am looking forward to getting back to doing," he said.
For more information, visit the Genesys Heart Institute website, HERE.
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