ALBUQUERQUE, NM (November 11, 2014) Sean Mazer, MD, an electrophysiologist at New Mexico Heart Institute is the first physician in the Southwest to use an innovative new technology to treat patients with heart rhythm disorders. The procedure took place on a 31-year-old patient on November 3at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. He was cured with the first application of radio frequency energy. This patient had suffered from a long-standing heart rhythm disorder which was life threatening.
The TactiCath Quartz irrigated ablation catheter is a thin, flexible wire threaded through the patient’s veins into their heart. It is used to help treat irregular heartbeats that impair heart’s ability to effectively pump blood throughout the body. This technology is designed to provide the surgeon with a direct measurement of the force the catheter applies to a patient’s heart in order to create more effective burns during an ablation procedure.
“The number of patients with atrial fibrillation is increasing,” said Dr. Mazer, “It’s important for us to use new world class treatments and technologies that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of ablation therapies to treat Afib and improve the quality of care for our patients impacted by this condition.”
The device is the latest ablation therapy from St. Jude Medical and provides electrophysiologists the ability to monitor the amount of pressure that a catheter tip exerts on the endocardium (the layer of tissue that lines the chambers of the heart). Without contact-force sensing technology, physicians have to estimate by touch with their hands the amount of force applied to the heart wall during an ablation. If too little force is applied, effective lesions may not be created and Afib may recur, potentially requiring additional treatments. When too much force is applied, there is risk of tissue injury, which can lead to serious procedure-related complications.
An estimated 2.7 million people are impacted by Afib, making the condition the most common type of arrhythmia affecting Americans today. Afib is a progressive disease that increases in severity and frequency if left untreated, and can lead to chronic fatigue, congestive heart failure and stroke.