Canada’s very first hybrid cardiac ablation procedure has been successfully performed right here in Kingston. This is a procedure meant to treat patients with atrial fibrillation – the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. This innovative hybrid procedure is far less invasive for patients than many of the traditional approaches.
Here in Canada, atrial fibrillation affects approximately one in four people. Cardiac ablation procedures are used to restore normal heart rhythms by creating scars inside the heart which prevent abnormal electrical signals from moving through the heart tissue. Traditionally this is done by inserting long, flexible tubes with wires into the heart through the groin or by using more invasive surgical approaches that often require opening the chest and stopping the heart.
Dr. Bisleri and Dr. Glover showed me the new technique and tools they are now using to treat atrial fibrillation. With the new procedure, a cardiologist uses digital technology to map the inside of the heart while the surgeon performs ablation on the outside of the heart using a specialized device. It requires just three keyhole incisions to navigate to the heart which means patients heal faster, they stop or reduce their use of medication, and they spend less time in the hospital during the procedure and have fewer admissions following treatment.
I think it’s exciting that this cardiac mapping system technology is being used in Kingston. A less invasive procedure means better care for patients with atrial fibrillation and also means inpatient beds are freed up for others that need care. Dr. Bisleri and Dr. Glover are passionate about this technology but also about the research that accompanies their work. They are looking at how lifestyle, diet, and exercise can help control the risk factors that lead to atrial fibrillation. It’s great to see leading edge health care initiatives like this being developed in Kingston!
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