What is a Convergent Ablation?
The procedure is a convergence or hybrid of two treatment techniques for patients with persistent or long-standing symptomatic Atrial Fibrillation. It is performed in two phases, involving a both a cardiothoracic surgeon and a cardiac electrophysiologist working together. The cardiac electrophysiologist is working from the inside wall of the heart, whereas the surgeon is approaching from outside wall of the heart.
It is performed in two phases over a period of three months.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure, performed by a cardiothoracic surgeon.
During the first phase, a small incision is made on the chest to access the back wall of the left atrium of the heart. The cardiothoracic surgeon ablates the back wall of the left atrium before inserting a device known as the Atriclip to close the left atrial appendage.
A cardiac catheter ablation procedure performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist.
The second phase, a cardiac catheter ablation is performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist (an EP). A cardiac ablation uses heat or cold energy delivered to the heart tissue around the pulmonary veins on the inside of the left atrium.
When would I need a Convergent Procedure?
The Convergent procedure is appropriate for patients with long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation, who have significant symptoms, or reduced cardiac function who could be at risk of heart failure.
The technique is newly offered to patients in Queensland from 2023, and aims to improve quality of life, minimise stroke risk, protect heart function and suppress atrial fibrillation in challenging AFib patients.
Can I request a Convergent Procedure to treat my AFib symptoms?
Patients with persistent atrial fibrillation are encouraged to talk with their GP about a referral to the Atrial Fibrillation Institute at QCG. A consultation can be booked with an cardiac electrophysiologist to discuss their individual AFib condition and treatment history and gain advice about whether the procedure is appropriate for them.
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